TransitionsPosted: June 5, 2011
It’s been quite a week. My younger daughter finished preschool and went straight from her graduation ceremony to kindergarten orientation. She’s so ready for the big time, but it’s definitely bittersweet to leave our nursery school. Most of Sara’s classmates were the younger siblings of Kate’s preschool classmates, so we’ve known these families and these teachers since this class was in diapers. Although we’ll keep in good touch (we all live within minutes of one another), and a good number of Sara’s friends will go to her elementary school, it’s going to be strange not to see everyone at drop-off each morning, to be a regular part of one another’s daily lives.
Sending my girls to a preschool affiliated with a synagogue turned out to be really rewarding. I love that they learned about the Jewish holidays and history, and that they know a good bit of Hebrew. My dad was Jewish, so they do have a family connection. And I love the undogmatic aspect of Judaism. It’s okay to ask questions, to discuss.
Endings can be difficult and strange. Sara vacillated between excitement and a little bit of the blues all week. One night after bedtime she ventured back downstairs to say she was feeling sad about preschool ending: “Two tears came out of my eyes, Mama.” But she did great at kindergarten orientation — she happily strode right off with the teachers when they came to relieve us parents of our kids for a bit.
Orientation was also the first event I helped plan as a member of our elementary school’s PTA executive board. At the school fair the next day, I had to wear a PTA T-shirt — it felt a little strange to be singled out by my clothing as “one of them.” It’s a great group of parents, however, and I’m looking forward to getting more involved with the school with both my daughters there.
Also this past week, Emma opened her new yoga studio. It’s spacious and beautiful, with lots of light and completely different acoustics. This is an exciting change, for her and for the rest of us — a true celebration of our ever-expanding kula. But leaving the old studio felt bittersweet, too. It was a place where I laughed and cried and made good friends and sort of recovered myself.
So, change. I used to hate and fear it. Even good change would knock me off-kilter. Every single year on the first day of school, I’d come home and cry because everything was different. Even my senior year of high school, which ended up being a fantastic one, began with a good sob. Don’t even ask about my transition to college. (Or how I handled breakups.)
But here’s the difference. Now I can acknowledge the things I’ll miss about the old situation and look forward to the new with a sense of balance I didn’t used to have. When you can bring your entire, stable self into a new place or situation, you don’t feel lost or without bearings. I didn’t used to feel like “me” in an unfamiliar place, and it would take me some time to find myself again. That doesn’t happen anymore.
So far, it looks like my girls are able to move into new spaces with their heads held high, which makes me so damn proud. And I might even allow myself to take a little bit of credit for their firm foundation.