Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bittersweet MOMents......

My youngest son graduated from elementary school. I took the day off of work fully prepared to hit the closest bar immediately following the ceremony, not out of celebration, but complete and utter depression. You see, I walked my oldest son in that school in August of 1999. His brother followed in 2003. Then another in 2005. And lastly, the "little guy" in 2008. For fifteen years I've walked the halls of that school. I've eaten many a lunch there. I've dropped off screaming kids. I've picked up vomiting kids. I've loved each and every one of their teachers for giving them their foundation for learning. The memories of that school are vivid and abundant.

 As I made my way through the hallways, I savored the smell one last time. A smell that, not only hasn't changed in 15 years, but one that takes me back to my own childhood, as I was a student there many (MANY) years ago. I have my own amazing memories there, minus the one time I puked peaches in the cafeteria. And the yearly "lice check" where we stood in line with our little combs waiting to be combed and prodded. Aside from that, great memories for me. Fast forward years later to 1999 and kindergarten orientation for my oldest. I walked in the door and the first thing I noticed was the same smell. I can't really describe it in words. It isn't a stinky smell. It isn't necessarily a flavorful, yummy smell. It's a scent that is distinct to that school. It represents innocence, liveliness, fun, nuture, comfort, and love. That scent was the one thing that nearly put me over the edge as I realized it was the last day I'd walk those halls with one of my boys.

Big brother #1 prints

The 5th grade graduation ceremony went by in a blink in the gymnasium where 2 of his older brothers handprints reside on the walls. I held myself together until the very end, shed a couple tears, gathered my composure and hugged my son extra tight. 

Big Brother #2 prints

That sweet boy is the exclamation mark to our family. Every milestone moving forward for him, is the "last" milestone in a sense for me as a Mommy and that's a tough pill to swallow. But I made a promise to myself that I will do my best to handle these last milestones with grace, even though I wanted to fall in the floor and throw a complete Mommy temper tantrum before leaving. I didn't. Instead I gave myself an attitude adjustment. My change in perspective was made easy by the company of other 5th grade moms who were also celebrating their last child in that school, as well as others who have younger kids to follow. A day of depression did, indeed, turn into a day of celebration as we sat outside watching our kids run and play on the grounds of the school that has given them, not only a great foundation in education, but also memories that will last them a lifetime.

And that wafting hallway scent that greeted them each and every morning for 6 years, may it one day bring back the memories of being a 5 year old kid again.

EM Yoder Elementary, thanks for the memories.

Happy kid!

Happier Moms!