This year's end was different than others. Usually amidst the "let's get this over with" feelings of desperation, there is a euphoric sense of accomplishment. I usually write about this feeling most years... Primarily so I will remember. And there was still some of that. Just not as much.
I know one reason why: I had to take Ansley to work with me. During the last week of exams, my girls passed around the hand, foot, mouth virus. Of course they did. My parents were in London, so there was no back-up plan, so sweet Ansley got to hear honors portfolio media project presentations. She was a trooper, but it wore us both out.
The main reason for the anticlimactical ending, though, is the inevitable dismantling of my very special friend group. Since I have been at IHS, I have made some of the best friends of my life... Friends who I have entered the world of motherhood with, friends who I have experienced the highs, lows, and mundane moments of life with, friends who I have connected with on literary, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels. We have celebrated weddings, babies, 30th birthdays, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays. Our husbands have golfed together. We have done life together.
Now we are dispersing. One family is moving to South Carolina, another to a different part of Tennessee. One friend fell victim to downsizing of students and staff, and another is trying to move to the district where her son will start kindergarten. Others of us are just considering different career and life options.
In the midst of a building filled with teenage, staff, and political drama, my friends have been my safe place. I have no doubt that we will remain close friends, but our day-to-day will be different.
That thought just makes me sad. When I left on Friday... Not knowing when might return... I came home, got in the bed, pulled the covers over my head, and prayed for Jesus to come back. :) It was one of those kinds of days.
Thankfully, Friday night pulled me out of my funk. A friend organized a family gathering at Arrington Vineyards. It was perfect. Addison and Ansley got to run amuck with their Eagle's Nest buddies while the mommies and daddies got to enjoy the music and atmosphere in reflective and lighthearted peace. Patrick and I couldn't believe we had never been before. On the way home, Addison said that vineyards are so much better than restaurants!
Who really knows what next year holds for any of us, and our evening was the perfect way to celebrate and ring out the 11-12 school year. Love you, friends.