Thursday, June 4, 2009

School's Out!

Today is the finally the last day of school in our town. It has been a long school year for students, teachers, and administrators, complete with swine flu scares and inclement weather make-up days. Although I no longer have more than a thread connecting me to the school system, I feel for them all. My violin studio runs roughly concurrent with the local school calendar, but I stopped teaching one week after our studio recital and began the summer semester two weeks ago, just because the weather seemed fitting. 

This time of year is hard for me for several reasons. I fight loneliness, because I miss my daughters and because my Daddy died last year in June.  I always loved the last day of school with my daughters. We would plan something special--friends over for lunch if it was an early release day, or a swim party at the neighborhood pool, or just pizza, ice cream and nap, because we could. Summer was our time to pack for the pool and spend the entire day there, with Muffin meeting us for dinner at the grill or a picnic we packed. Summer was our time to have lazy slumber parties with their friends. It was definitely the time we kept ridiculous hours reading as late as we wanted to read, or watching old musical movies one after the other in succession until our eyeballs burned. It was time for eating when we felt like it, including all the local ripe produce, and grilling meats outdoors to alleviate residual heat in the house. Summer included VBS at church, One Way church camps at Ceta Canyon and Butman, swimming or art lessons, and a Suzuki institute for all of us somewhere that was a "vacation destination". Sigh. I miss it all.

I survived taking four daughters to kindergarten, one at a time, after those sweet summers, and also seeing them graduate first from high school, then college, one at a time. Milestones, memories, emotions like waves in the ocean and contractions in labor swept over me each time. Now my oldest grandchild is one year away from kindergarten. He was just promoted to the four year old pre-school class, and it all hit me again. The alternative is unacceptable, however. Now I have dreams of entertaining cousins at my house in the summers and experiencing those fun times all over again. 

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