Today my daughter – Adelynn Grace, 5 years old – graduated from Kindergarten. I helped her get dressed and brought her outside, tears in my eyes and took a beautiful photo of her standing with the sunshine illuminating her.
It was beautiful.
Normally, I’m pretty tough. I honestly haven’t shed many tears in the past few months, but today I felt them surfacing.
In September of 2017, Adelynn started school at Willard Model Elementary in Norfolk VA. She took some time to adjust, to get used to her classmates, her teacher… homework. I wish I could say that she loved school but she didn’t. At night she would ask me, “mommy, when the sun comes up, do I have school?”
When I answered yes, her heart sank a little bit.
She made it through the three months in Virginia after we built a nice routine. One of my favorite things was walking her the 1.2 miles to school in the morning and pushing her little sister Felicity in the stroller – and then walking home after pick up.
When she left her school in December for Christmas break, neither her nor myself realized that would be her last day at that school.
After a major life change, we left Virginia and headed back to New York, staying with family until we could get settled. We enrolled Adelynn at the Elementary school where my husband attended over 2 decades earlier, where my mother in law works, and where I would soon become a Teacher Aide in a 2nd grade classroom.
I think one of the lessons I am learning so profoundly is to be able to ‘go with the flow’. Life throws us curve balls. I had no idea we would ever return to New York to live, and here we are living in a comfortable enough for now temporary situation. I had no idea what to expect when Adelynn started at her new school.
I had no idea what to expect when I STARTED as an aide!
Today I was in tears more than once. I looked at the little kids that I’ve spent countless hours with for the past 6 months… realizing this was farewell for a while. I looked at my own beautiful little girl, proud beyond words at her grace, and her impeccable ability to just ‘go with the flow’. Maybe I even was able to look at myself and see these same traits. This has not be an easy transition but at the end of the day, I know I’m doing the best I can to move gracefully into the future.
I sat with the other aides today at an award ceremony and one of them looked at me, and said, “Sarah, you’ve always been so good at just going with the flow!”
If only she knew how hard it is to embrace that mindset… especially when things are spiraling into the land of the unknown.
I’m sitting in a sunny coffee shop now as I write this. My eyes are still a bit glossy from my teary emotions bubbling up so many times this morning. Adelynn graduated from Kindergarten today and I cannot help but feel like I too am graduating from something. I’ve said it so many times… my job at the school never felt like a job. It felt like a fluid learning experience… it was filled with so many wonderful times, happy children – them teaching me without even knowing it, and me doing the same for them.
I realize today that I am a graduate with an undeclared major. I don’t know the future… none of us do. I know that in September my daughter will go to school somewhere and start 1st grade. I know that in my heart I pray and hope and try to move forward into a permanent home. I know that I’m willing and able to do the legwork to get there with my husbands hand in mine as we learn to grow and thrive in this new life back in New York. I know that I’m blessed to have spent the past 6 months surrounded with amazing children and inspiring teachers. I thank my lucky stars for my beautiful children, Adelynn and Felicity and my abundantly caring family.
I look back at the past few months with fondness. I saw my daughter basking in the bright sunshine this morning, pride radiating from my heart at her grace. I will look at myself that way too.
Here’s to an amazing summer.