I expected that I'd get more emotional about Riley finishing elementary school, especially since I really did love the school and the parents and others I met there. Still, I can't seem to get worked up about it. Right now, I'm just enjoying life without monthly book reports and homework, and easier mornings and nights.
And I'm thrilled to be done with Sylvia's middle school! It wasn't until the very end that I finally came across a few teachers and one counselor that I could appreciate, but it was too little, too late. I'm proud of how Sylvia came out of it a better person, but I think it was mostly in spite of and not because of her school.
I don't think the new school year will make me wistful, either. I'm too excited about their schools to come.
At the same time, I think that's also how I'm feeling about life in general. I'm just not looking back that much anymore. I'm looking forward.
It was 8 years ago that I put myself and the girls and our cat on a plane and truly left my husband and our lives in Rochester, NY back to L.A.
When I first got here, I thought I was moving backward. And in many ways, I was. I was living with my parents again (only with two daughters this time). I had no car, no money, no job. I was starting completely over.
But at the time, that's not how I saw it. I was afraid I'd just wasted years of my life. After the first few steps forward (a job, a car, a place to call our own), I thought that was it; the rest of my life was going to be one long, uphill struggle. And for a few years, it was.
But then, I got a college degree. And then I got a promotion. And my kids went from these little helpless girls to girls with their own opinions, their own ambitions, their own personalities. And now, I've graduated from this leadership program where I met these amazing people and walked among them.
Yes, we did all graduate in these past few weeks. But theirs were called promotions, and mine might as well have been, too. Because these ceremonies weren't about our past accomplishments, but about the new expectations upon all of us. To do more, to be more. So we're looking forward, readying ourselves for what's next. Some knowns, lots of unknowns, preparing however we can. And in the meantime, soaking up the joy that is our present.