My husband, Jeffrey, is a high school librarian. He started his education career as an English teacher and still teaches two English classes along with his full time library responsibilities. Last night was the graduation of his final class of journalism students. We weren't two minutes into the program before I started crying.Pomp and Circumstance hadn't yet begun when my tears started. I looked over at Sloane and did some quick math. In just ten years Sloane will be the teenager in a shiny polyester gown and great shoes. She'll be one of the girls who are so excited they fairly wiggle. She'll be one of the slightly nauseous teens who can't wait for their future, but are a bit sad to be leaving all this carefree fun behind.
And me? I'll be one of the moms trying desperately to swallow around the enormous lump in my throat. I'll be one of the annoying parents with a camera in her face and loud cheers each time I hear her name. I'll be the one with no mascara so that I don't end up looking like a raccoon. I'll be one of the adults who sit there and know deep down that things will never be the same again.
I hope I will also be one of those parents who know that all of this really is OK. I hope I remember that things never have stayed the same. I hope I think back to this year and remember how many times I cried because Sloane is leaving second grade; my grade. She was born my first year of teaching, and next year she'll be older than my own students. I hope that I recall the way that every day, every school year has been new and different. The way that each year brings with it new heartaches and challenges; new successes and triumphs. I hope I remember, bone deep, that each day, every single day is such a gift. Every day with my sweet girl is nothing less than a miracle.
Because just now?
Just now I am old enough to know that ten years go by so quickly.
Ten years is no time at all.