Last week my daughter said goodbye to elementary school, and I watched the final episode of Ted Lasso.
I didn’t want either of these things to end.
I read an article in Variety magazine that said that the third season of Ted Lasso went on way too long and would’ve benefited from about five hours of editing. I, however, hung on to every last drop, pausing the last episode fifteen minutes early and saving it for the next night. Transparency: It was past my bedtime and I was falling asleep which I guess proves the article’s point.
I tend to drag out goodbyes. Linger in the doorway. One more hug. One last glance over my shoulder.
The fact that every single storyline was taken to completion left me feeling very satisfied. It’s like you know the story doesn’t really end there; it felt like every character, big or small, was entering their own new beginning.
The elementary school felt like home to me; all three of my children attended and it’s been a part of our lives for nearly a decade. Our family felt loved and known.
Over the years, I volunteered in the school office. I got to know teachers and resource officers. I watched parents with baby bumps carry toddlers on their hips and later send those same children off to kindergarten. I held PTA board positions where I got to do my favorite thing: help bring people together. We hosted fun runs on the back lawn. I produced and edited music videos to create hype; the teachers willingly met me after school to act out their parts and learn the dance for the pep rally.
I live for this stuff.
And yet, over this past year, there was this feeling that it was time to say goodbye: my daughter’s own awareness that she’s growing up. She’s ready to evolve to a new chapter of life where she’s not required to walk in a single file line. I started pulling back from my involvement, making way for new faces who were eager and ready to step in. Our time was ending; their time is now.
We’re sometimes hesitant for that new beginning even when we know it’s time, because we also know that beginnings are bumpy and awkward. Then somewhere along the way, things click. Then there’s growth and change, and then it’s time to move on.
I think in life we have these moments when we hit a sweet spot. We’ve finally found home, and we wish it could stay that way forever. But we know that’s not how the story goes. Even the best stories come to the end.
And as we begin, and begin, and begin, we start to understand that the best stories stay with us, too.
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