L. is graduating from elementary school on Thursday.
Although, as I found out yesterday from L.'s resource teacher, we're not supposed to call Thursday's event a graduation, but a celebration. There's a statewide public school rule, apparently, that the term graduation should be reserved for high school events, lest parents and kids get the impression that 5th grade is an acceptable end-of-the-road stopping point, education-wise.
Yesterday morning, when L. was dragging his feet and hanging his head low (I was kind of dragging my feet and hanging my head low, too--it was Monday, after all) about going to school I reminded him that this would be his last Monday morning of elementary school ever. He perked up at that. I can't wait until it's over, he said. I know he'll be glad, but I also know that he's scared inside, too, about leaving the school that has been such a part of his life for all these years. It's embedded into him, like a splinter. This isn't a happy analogy, I know, but I don't have a happy analogy for what elementary school has been for L., for all of us--for what it has done to him, to all of us.
Because I know that leaving will be hard, I'm also trying to help L. say good-bye to the place, in positive ways, so that he's not leaving this school awash in relief and bitter regret.
Actually, maybe that's just what I'm feeling, relief and bitter regret. I try hard not to impose my own feelings onto L., and I don't think I ever do that, but I have to be careful because I know my feelings as a parent could be very different from L.'s feelings as the child.
A few weeks ago, when I was driving L. to school, I asked him how he felt about the end of school. He was in a relaxed, talkative mood, and it didn't take him long to answer.