Tuesday, June 03, 2008

RINGING OUT THE OLD

Ten years ago, when I had a four-year-old and a screaming two-year-old, I rose from my warm bed on a freezing January morning, and went to stand in line.

At 5:00 AM in the dark and cold, I waited with other eager parents, some that I knew, some that I didn't, as we lined up to register our first borns for a private, Catholic education.

Little did I know that day, that the order of our arrival, the jockeying for positions as word travelled through the line of how many spots remained in morning, versus afternoon, kindergarten, little did I know that that behavior, that order, that line up, set into motion some sort of karmic sequence of events that are just being completed now.

Those in line directly in front and directly behind me, turned out to be the same people with whom I have had the most drama these ten years since. Some have left the school, some have bonded with force and come apart with greater force. Some became my friends and some remain my friends. Some do not.

As my daughter completes her nine year run at this school, we both reflect on the years gone by. Today is her last day in uniform, a day she's thought she's been waiting for "all her life," now one she is sad to see come. She's aware this day is significant, it's the last day any school is going to be in charge of what she wears. It's also the last day any school is going to be in charge of what she wears. A mixed blessing, indeed.

The groove we worked hard to place her in ten and a half years ago, is coming to an end. And that groove really began long before that, when we were buying our first house and doing our family planning. We always had one eye towards our educational choices, believing that choice was paramount.

Tomorrow I'll be on an all-day retreat with the 8th grade class. Reconciliation is a part of this day. There will be a healing ceremony, a laying down and forgiving of grievances amongst the students.

Tomorrow I'll be on an all-day retreat with the parents of the 8th grade class. I will lay down and forgive my grievances with some of them. I will also look around, with many tears and a swelling heart, at some of the most significant people in my life. Some of these parents have have become my family, my right arm, my port in many storms.

If I knew then, what I know now, there are some things I would have done differently, but not a lot. I would have placed my kids in this same groove, I would have made the same friends, for each one has taught me much. I would do it all again. Definitely.

But I'm glad I don't have to.

I'm ready to ring in the new.



* Photo of Kathleen's daughter with my daughter, kindergarten, 1999

10 comments:

Jess said...

I love that picture. So cute! Time flies, eh? Great that you are all getting to have some ritual around this.

Drama Mama said...

So lovely. Your post resonates with me - I paid Roxie's tuition at the local Catholic school yesterday, and on the way home, she asked if we could buy her uniform so that we could wear it over the summer.

What she doesn't know, eh?

Hope your retreat/graduation is wonderful...

Sue said...

I need a tissue!

You nailed it (as you always do) ...

Michelle O'Neil said...

Congratulations Carrie and Woo-hoo. You are so blessed to have such community.

Deb said...

Poignant, sweet, powerful words.

So, does this mean more trips to the mall for clothes?

Eileen said...

Carrie,

What a great picture!!

Your post is beautiful. How wonderful for you to have had such a loving, caring school environment.

I hope the celebrations go well. Congratulations to you both.

XOXO

marge said...

Congratulations my dear. Hope your retreat is wonderful. Now on to the world of picking out our outfit the night before school just so she can change it 20X before she catches the bus or better yet you have to drive her because we have to change just one more time mom! Much, much love during this special time in your and Lucy's life.

Anonymous said...

LOVE that picture! Cheers to "ringing in the new"

La La said...

A D O R A B L E photo! She looks like you!

Congratulations to Lucy and to you!

Have fun on the retreat!

kario said...

CONGRATULATIONS, LADIES! So proud of you both for not only surviving this time, but shining and coming out the other end smelling like an entire bouquet of roses. You two rock.