End of The Year

I drove home alone from choir rehearsal as the dusk began to settle into dark.

Tears had been on the verge of falling for days, but I was completely unsure of why.

When’s the last time you let yourself cry? I asked myself. Surprisingly, I could not come up with an answer. Not a stranger to tear fall, I realized it had been a long time since I gave myself permission to just let go.

I got home to a house still alive with lights though it was well past bedtime. Things don’t always go according to schedule when I leave my boys to their own devices.

Last week was the end of the year songfest at my son’s preschool where they gave an adorable performance which I was unable to capture on film because my phone is ridiculous. (Or it was a user error. Either way.)

End of the Year Preschool Performance

End of the Year Preschool Performance

At the End of the Year Preschool Performance

At the End of the Year Preschool Performance

This week was the last week of school. The milestone of “the last day” was significant and difficult for me. My son wasn’t phased, but he was a very enthusiastic participant in picking out teacher gifts and delivering them with big smiles and equally big hugs.

Last Day of 3K

Last Day of 3K

This week was also the last week of his dance class and he had a dance recital. He was the only boy in the class, but he loved his dance teacher, dance class, and was very good at his dance routines. My phone didn’t capture much of that performance either (UGH) but I hope I always remember how proud he was of himself with his dance routine and the big smile he would bear when he glanced into the audience to see his Mommy and Daddy watching him.

Stretching before his dance recital

Stretching before his dance recital

The only boy in dance class. He rocked his dance recital.

The only boy in dance class. He rocked his dance recital.

I found something on Pinterest a while ago about the book “Oh The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. You buy the book and have all of your child’s teachers sign it from their first day of school through high school and you give it to them at high school graduation. When I presented them with teacher gifts this year I asked his teachers to sign the book and tracked down his teachers from last year so they could sign it also. Now I have it tucked away, ready for next spring and the next set of teachers in his life to sign a book that I will give to him the summer before he leaves for college.

The house that should have been quiet was still blossoming with activity as my husband and son entered into a tickling game at 9:00 at night. Usually one to lead the time-to-go-to-bed parade, this time I decided to watch and found myself laughing along as my boys tickled and my son’s screams of laughter and delight floated through the air.

The notebook his teachers had put together lay open on the coffee table in the living room. Consumed with the busyness that accompanies end of the year events, we hadn’t had time to watch the CD enclosed in the yellow paper case tucked into the inside pocket.

“Do you think that CD would play on your x-box?” I posed, looking for a way to transition to a quiet activity and satisfy my curiosity at once.

“Umm, maybe,” replied my husband, jumping up to try.

A few seconds later we were all greeted with full screen animation of a class picture and a title that read “Zany Zoo Three Year Old Class 2012-2013.” A press of the play button would reveal a slideshow set to the song “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” of all of the pictures the teachers had taken of the students throughout the year.

And then, finally, I found myself sobbing on the couch. Really sobbing in full ugly cry fashion.

“It’s ok, Mommy, don’t cry,” said my not-so-little-anymore boy as he tried to wipe away my tears. “Why are you crying, Mommy?”

It took me awhile to compose a sentence.

“Not so long ago, I was a teacher. At the end of the year I worked very hard to make a book for all of my students and I made a CD just like this with pictures and music for the Mommies and Daddies to have of their babies. And now I’m a Mommy of a sweet boy who is old enough to go to school and get CDs like this and I have been working on a book to give to you at your high school graduation. And that means that one day you are going to graduate high school and you’re just growing up so fast!”

I’m sure he stopped listening half way through. My husband gave me a bemused look. His hardness balances my mushy. We are the epitome of opposites attract.

I did find the strength to laugh at myself over my scene. “End of school years are always going to be hard for me. I am always going to be that Mommy that cries at the end of every school year. Get used to it people.”

My husband and son laughed and smiled. My foreshadowing of events came as a surprise to no one.

We were laughing again, though I don’t remember why, and finally began our ascent upstairs to bed.

How apt, I thought, that I just pondered when the last time was I gave myself permission to cry, and then I found tears releasing themselves during a preschool slideshow.

Funny how sometimes things work out exactly the way they are supposed to.

A popcicle treat after his end of the year picnic at preschool. He's growing up so fast!!

A popcicle treat after his end of the year picnic at preschool. He’s growing up so fast!!


* Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop inspired by the prompt “5.) Pinterest Inspired! Share something you pinned and actually tried.” *


  1. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, Julia! (hug) Those pictures look so cute! There’s been a lot of emotion pouring out for me too (I blame this warm weather – the changing of the seasons!). Each year, I find myself becoming more sentimental about the people who make my everyday life, my everyday life. I think with each season it reminds us that time is passing by and the day’s routine that’s so familiar to me will be a memory (I remember you writing about that not so long ago). Honestly? That’s a little scary to me…maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    Ok. Now I’M crying. lol

    • Oh no, no crying!! xoxoxo

      Yes, I think you are exactly right; when things change we are reminded of just how fragile everyday life is and just how quickly it passes.

      Big hugs!!
      Julia recently posted..End of The YearMy Profile

  2. My baby boy just graduated from high school. It HAS gone by in the blink of an eye, but I have not cried about it (except when Pomp and Circumstance was played – that song gets me whether I know anyone graduating or not), because a wise friend told me not to cry if he graduates; cry if he DOESN’T graduate. So I’m working on celebrating milestones and not being sad about them. He’s SUPPOSED to grow up. He’s SUPPOSED to go away to college. I certainly don’t want him living in my basement, playing video games and eating potato chips! (Ask me again when I leave him in his dorm room in August, and I may have a different story!)

    He is darling, and I’m glad he’s enjoyed his preschool experience so much! (I teach pre-k, and it’s bittersweet to watch them go on to kindergarten, just as it is to watch your own child go off to college.)
    Dyanne @ I Want Backsies recently posted..They’re Random, All RightMy Profile

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Oh my goodness, graduating high school…that is such a big milestone! Congratulations! You are so right; they are supposed to do these things, it’s just so hard to watch your baby grow up. (Definitely better than them living in the basement haha!)
      I think that’s why this milestone got to me so much, I taught pre-K for a bit and I just can’t believe that now I have a pre-K aged child of my very own! (Love meeting other pre-K teachers!)
      I’m going to work on celebrating milestones with you. Who knew I would be such a mushy mommy?
      Julia recently posted..End of The YearMy Profile

  3. Oh…the good cry. We need it out of us. Don’t you feel so much better doing that?
    I think it’s going to be hard for me too. An entire year gone. It’s funny that you say that it never phased them. It will when they are graduating from college or university “You mean I have to grow up!”
    I love that idea about the book. I was in tears just thinking of it. Gah….need to go and buy it now. xoxo
    Kimberly recently posted..Oh I Didn’t See You ThereMy Profile

    • Yes, the good cry is sometimes absolutely necessary. I needed it so much and now we are back on track for the roller coaster of I love the toddler and he drives me crazy, so things evened out. :)
      You are so right! It will hit them at the END of it all. I love that book idea! Now if I can just remember to do it at the end of every year….. xo
      Julia recently posted..End of The YearMy Profile

  4. Catheryn says:

    I love the dance pictures – especially the red shoes!

    • Thank you!! Those red shoes are his favorite.:) You would have been so proud of his dance recital! I will have to send you the small bit of video that we did take.
      Julia recently posted..End of The YearMy Profile