Change floats in the air like the pollen this time of year. The spring musical just wrapped up at our local high school – my youngest’s last high school Drama Club production. I am excited for him to start a new part of his life. I am excited to start a new part of my life. Yet, the tears flowed at both the cast party on Saturday night and as that curtain closed – truthfully, during the final musical number – on “Grease” yesterday.
Number six will have a shortened summer. How short, we are not totally sure yet. That will be determined this week. If he wins a state competition he is headed to, he will lose the first five days of his summer, leaving for a national competition the day after graduation. As it is, his summer will be approximately a month shorter than his classmates as he starts college July 31st.
As a father of another senior said yesterday, the tears are not for the boy-man leaving home. The tears are for the child who has been gone for a long time. The tears are for the child that no longer enjoys playing on a playground but prefers the car keys. The tears are for the friendships that will end for that child as high school ends.
The tears flow not because of grief or doubt. The tears flow because of joy and anticipation. Joy that high school is coming to a close but has prepared the child for college, for life. Joy that new friendships are on the horizon in a new place. Anticipation of new learning. Anticipation of new growth. Anticipation of new friendships.
Tears will continue to flow as prom comes and goes, as graduations come and go. Tears will mark a new part of life just as they marked a new birth years before.