So my first baby is finishing his run at the middle school, and will be headed for the junior high (aka sesspool of adolescence). My other baby is closing out her time in elementary school, and is headed for the middle school in the fall. I guess what this means is that I really don't have any babies! There's one box of tissues...sad. The good news is that the people they are both becoming are pretty fabulous, and they've surrounded themselves with some incredible friends. Another box of tissues...happy.
In an effort to keep busy, the oven is on once again. I am currently waiting for the timer to go off on what is part of batch number six of chocolate chip cookies, since last Thursday. There were a variety of causes that led to the homage to Nestle and its fabulous Tollhouse recipe. Three batches were for a coworker's daughter's graduation party and one batch was for the people running the corporate challenge at my aunt's office. The other two batches were the easiest/most cost effective way to say "thanks and farewell" to the myriad of teachers my children felt compelled to acknowledge (yeah, yeah, yeah...I felt it too). The baked goods covered all of our bases at the middle school, once my son reluctantly accepted that they were a fine alternative to gift cards. Since our daughter will be going to that school next year, his departure lacked any sense of finality for me (there could be some fuzzy logic or denial mixed in there, but keep that to yourself, and do not feel compelled to point it out to me).
The waters got a little murkier for the elementary school farewell. Melty morsels sufficed for some. However, it was not only the girl's good-bye, she can draw a swell card with her own message, but rather this mom's good riddance as well. How do I say "good-bye", and perhaps more importantly "Thank you", while keeping in mind that this isn't about me? (Cue another box of tissues!) With the help of my ten year old, we were successful in finding ways that we felt would let people know we were thinking of them. Those people extended back to her first grade, up through her fourth grade teacher. Nobody can shake us that easily...we just keep coming back! Sure there appeared to be some sort of hierarchy to the gifts, but nobody else needs to know that. There were some cards that I had to add my own two cents, but most others are tear-jerkers on their own. It's so funny to me how she is at the kitchen table right now drafting away at things, that sent me running out of the room before she saw the waterworks coming, with a big grin on her face. She clearly has a better hold on "Don't cry because it's over....smile because it happened" than I do. I am working on it...really, I am. It is worse to imagine us having spent the past six years someplace we were more than eager to leave.
Lately my musings over what to be when the kids grow up have become tangled with a growing sense of wondering where I belong (that is a whole other blog on its own I think). In moments of panic, I found that I could belong in the halls of the elementary school...room parent, literacy volunteer, spectator. That era ends tomorrow morning when I will "belong" there for the last time (tissue, please). Oh dear, I don't look terribly forward to belonging in front of my washing machine or behind my vacuum cleaner!