Saying goodbye


Welcome solstice. I haven't got any solstice traditions to maintain, but maybe Kevin and I could meet for a drink in the late-light tonight, after swimming and soccer. I'll admit to entertaining a minor annual melancholy over this particular solstice, because the peak means we will now begin to head back in the other direction. (I entertain a minor annual joy over the winter solstice, so it all balances out.)

Speaking of heading in other directions, see photos above. The first of my four kids to attend nursery school (and the last), CJ has spent intensive time at this nursery school and in the care of truly loving, fun, warm, attentive women, and this morning was his last, here. Ever. I remember all those years ago being at loose ends for childcare and spotting a small advertisement for the nursery school in the back of our local recreation guide, and what a leap it was to make an appointment, to sign up, and then actually to send him, at 20 months of age, one morning a week. Which soon became two, then three. Last year it was up to five mornings a week, only scaled back this year because he attended "big school" on alternate days.

I joke that I should have sent all of my kids to nursery school: the kid knows how to tidy up!

But of course, we do what feels right, and what feels right changes as we change. I changed in my mothering care and working life, and CJ walked a different early childhood path than his older siblings, and we all benefitted in different ways.

It was hard to say goodbye today. CJ has been worrying about "the last day" for weeks now. But he was happy there, so happily we went this morning, goodbye cards in hand. He comforted himself with the reminder that he would come back again to visit.

And he will, and we will, I don't doubt it.

It's just that under-the-surface knowledge, which I think he gets too, that we can come back to visit, but we can't come back to stay. That we will be changed, and change again. We really do have to say goodbye. And maybe, too, that it's ourselves, our younger, smaller selves we're also saying goodbye to.

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