Last Day of School

Yesterday was my son’s last day of school. It was weird ending the school year on a Monday, but there’s little anyone could have done about that. My son has officially completed the third grade, and come September he will be a fourth grader. Time moves ever onward.

Ending the school year on a Monday created a different vibe than previous years. The school year usually ends on a Thursday or a Friday, giving the kids a week-long buildup to that final day, which gives it an air of excitement and a release of anticipation. Yesterday’s release was more subdued than I was expecting, with most kids having experienced their weekend and coming back to school for one day must have felt a bit anti-climactic.

There was one thing I noticed this year that I hadn’t in previous years, though. Maybe it’s because I had my eye on the older kids as my son is growing older, but a few of them looked somber and sad as they walked to their last bus ride of the school year. These were the kids who were graduating from the elementary school and moving on to the middle school in September. I felt great sympathy for them, as the transition from elementary school to middle school is one of childhood’s great milestones; leaving the familiar to face the new and the uncertain.

And now summer vacation is officially upon us. A few months of freedom for my son before the school year resumes in September. He’s looking forward to enjoying an open schedule, filled only with a nearby summer day-camp and the promise of whatever adventures are around the next corner. He’s not thinking about childhood milestones or upcoming transitions. He’s still just a kid who’s out to enjoy his summer.

Like the comparatively carefree days of elementary school, I hope he enjoys them while they last.