It feels like a goodbye.
I know, I know. Ellie lives ten minutes away. I understand, I have no reason to grieve. Her Momma and I really do enjoy each other’s company, and I know that we will see each other all summer.
I get it.
Don’t shake your head and say, “What the hell is this old woman complaining about?”
I’m not complaining.
You see, for 30 years my work life was governed by the academic calendar. A new and exciting adventure began each September. Every June meant the end of a community, the end of very special relationships with kids.
And for about 19 years before that, I was one of the students who defined life by the beginning and ending of the academic year.
So the fact that this school year has ended is a very poignant and very powerful event for me. Except……I don’t have the usual markers to acknowledge and celebrate the event. No end of year conferences where I get to look into the eyes of each student and tell them what they meant to me. No last class play where some of the jokes were only between the kids and me.
No thank you gifts. No graduation. No good bye slide show made by me for the kids in my room; made with tissues in hand and a lot of quiet sobs.
This year just ended.
Ellie will have the overwhelming joy of spending every single day with her incredibly devoted Mommy and Daddy. Her routine will be their’s. Her hugs will be for them. They’ll sing the songs that rock her to sleep.
So stop right there. You don’t need to tell me that this is exactly how it should be. I know that! I celebrate it! I love my daughter more than my next breath; I want her memories of summer with her babies to be just as sweet and as long and as challenging as mine were. I happily give her back the reins.
But after they went home tonight, I got out my tissues and I quietly cried as I put away the high chair and the playpen.
I’ll see my Ellie in a few short days. In a matter of weeks, I’ll have her with me again.
But it won’t be the same. She won’t be my very first newborn grandchild. I mourn the end of the very special gift that was this past year.
Oh, don’t you yell at me! I know!
I am more blessed and more lucky than anyone anywhere has ever been. I know that.
But I’m sure gonna miss breakfast with my Ellie bean for the next few weeks…….