Today is the last day of school!
I always remember being euphoric about the end of the school year, But in my newly-7-year-old, I see a little more nuance.
Yes, she’s excited, but there is anxiety in there too. What will the next school year bring? How can she still keep in touch with her much-loved teacher? Thankfully, one favorite friend is right next door, but what of the others? Her mother is notoriously bad at scheduling playdates.
Transitions can be stressful for all of us, those in between times where you’re ready to move on but still unsure what comes next. Kids, at least my kids, tend to hide their stress behind other problems. Little ones might have more accidents or throw tantrums. Big kids try on new attitudes or stop listening to the rules.
Our family dinners have moved outside thanks to all the lovely weather we’re having. Last night, while the foil-wrapped tilapia grilled in its buttery herb sauce, Maya and I set the table. At the time, the sky was the same summer blue it had been all day.
When, about 8 trips between the kitchen and the deck later, all five of us sat down to eat, we noticed a stirring in the trees to the north. One ominous cloud was heading our way, but Joe assured it would harmlessly head past.
Inertia kept us at the table during this transition. There were too many things to move. We were too hungry to interrupt the meal… and public radio had assured us this would miss us.
While Little Miss Four started in on her second piece of fish (finally, something she’ll eat!), the clouds opened up. We were safe, more or less, under our sun umbrella. The novelty of dining in the rain had all five of us laughing for the first few minutes.
We could still see sunlight pouring through clouds nearby.
Soon, the blowing rain chilled the kids, and they dashed inside with their plates. Just as they went in, a beautiful partial rainbow appeared. The trees looked like they surely had a pot of gold somewhere in their branches.
We raced over to the trees, Little Miss hiding from the lingering rain beneath her bear blanket. Miss Maya more than a little annoyed that I had dragged her back outside. Still, the spectacle of a rainbow is magic at any age. It can even overcome a “too-cool” attitude.
Most transitions work this way if you wait long enough. The storm clears, whether emotional, metaphorical, or actual. Eventually, it’s time to look for that rainbow.
Tomorrow, summer officially begins for us!