Tonight, the dinner was held at a local restaurant where previous school board members attended as a gathering place for the last board meeting of the year. I have been to this dinner in the previous three years and have seen many changes.
Sure, the attendance was less than in previous years. Tenured members were thanked for their service during the past nine months and new board members sat in apprehension with a bit of excitement in their eyes. They have no clue what they will be in for in the Fall.
Dinner was filled with small chatter and the usual get-to-know-you type of conversations as spouses were invited to attend. Drinks and chips were served along with the house salsa blend. Orders were taken and soon, the food arrives.
Munch, munch, munch.
Then the board president calls the meeting to order and proceeds to cover a few topics of concern for the upcoming school year. Ideas were solicited for more parent involvement to help with the school activities and fundraisers. Motions were made, seconds were shouted out, and votes were tallied. All this in spite of the noisy restaurant guests (don’t they know WE are having a school board meeting???).
As I sat there, my thoughts ran through four years of parent involvement. Helping with the Back to School BBQ nights, providing consult for their technology needs and strategies, helping with other school events, increasing my duties on the board all the way to the vice president chair, helping the board deal with some legal issues with help from my business contacts outside of the school environment, etc. All of these activities (and more) flashed in my mind as the closing minutes of the meeting were at hand.
My son is a high school senior and in a few days, he will be graduating from mandatory schooling forever! No more helping with homework (and in some cases, re-learning subjects such as chemistry, biology, and advanced math) or late night projects that required extra help. No more concern for carpool arrangements (though that has ceased in the past two years because he has learned how to drive himself to school). No more special announcements via text and voicemail for important school events. No more school loop email notifications. No, all of this will stop soon.
We are about to step into the next phase of our lives. My son is one step closer to adulthood. We are one step closer to becoming empty nesters. This has become the year which I thought would never arrive – the Last of year.
It is a strange feeling knowing that throughout the past seven and a half years, I have reached the end of one journey with my son and by the grace of God, we somehow overcame many challenges in life. This victory is missing one person on earth but we know that she would have been very proud of her baby boy.
Therefore, as the school year comes to a close, I am looking forward to bigger things to come. It is a bittersweet emotion for me. On the one hand, it is a celebration of completion for my son but on the other hand, it is the ending of an era in our family.
On the positive side, however, it is a beginning of new trails to blaze and bigger worlds to conquer. It is the circle of life and though everybody’s circle consists of different side paths etched in life, all circles are of equal circumferences because eighteen years are the same duration of time for everyone.
So here is to a great accomplishment by my last son to finish mandatory schooling and I welcome new opportunities with open arms!!!