The End Of An Era

I may have mentioned a few (dozen) times that we’re getting ready to move, but there’s another major milestone that took place this week at Casa Chaos. Yesterday was Tsarina’s last day of fourth grade. Which in our district means the end of elementary school.

This was a big one for her. As life changes go, she’s gone through bigger ones (like, say, that leaving the orphanage that was the only home you ever knew to fly halfway around the world and live with people you don’t know and who speak a different language), but this was the first big step when she’s been old enough to understand the impact.

It’s always a bittersweet moment when the kids move on to the next big step, but it’s been especially momentous for her. When she started at this school, she needed every possible special service they had. Thanks to the amazing staff, she has made huge strides. She entered  the school as a shy little one who hid behind my legs, never spoke unless spoken to,  and who preferred to play with boys because their games required less verbalization. Now she has an abundance of friends of all genders and – major drum roll – volunteered for a speaking part in the Fourth Grade Celebration.

Okay, my screen just got a little blurry …

Not only was this a milestone for Tsarina, it was one for our family as a whole. We have had at least one child at that school for the bulk of the last eighteen years. (There was a two-year gap at one point.) It’s surreal to think that I won’t be zipping into that building any longer. No more volunteering at the library. No more room mom duties. No more invitations to class celebrations or Open Houses or acting as a spotter for the gymnastics unit.

2016 is turning out to be a year of huge changes for our family. Sometimes, all we can do is take a deep breath, smile – or cry – or both, then join hands and sing this song.