Spring Break has come and gone - that means that the end of the school year is just around the corner.
I'm struggling a bit with the end of this school year. This is the end of the 6th year that I've been in the School Based Big Brother Big Sister program. I slip away from the corporate world one day a week to have lunch with my Little. We met when she was a tiny little third grader, this bundle of sheer energy who would charge across the cafeteria to collide into me in a giant hug. Now she is a composed young woman, wearing make-up, taking Chinese and discussing which High School to attend next year. High School. HIGH SCHOOL! How on earth did that happen? She was a little girl just a bit ago and now she is very nearly an adult - well except for those times when she collapses into giggles and then I see that little girl again. And she still hugs me!
I was okay when she went into Middle School. She stayed in the same building. I know the people in the office well enough to have them on speed dial. I have worked with the people serving her lunch. (Her favorite lunch is Orange Chicken - all the better if there happened to be strawberries on the salad bar!) The school environment was familiar, comfortable, safe - but now everything is about to change. All the changes are scary. I do have to say that thank goodness, unlike me, my Little is ready for the new adventure and completely excited about High School.
I never realized how bittersweet the end of the school year can be. I can't help but think of the cafeteria employees who see the same students every day for lunch and know them by name and favorite foods (and even POS number). I've seen the special ways that they look after their students, like making sure there is an applesauce set aside because it is so important to that one little guy at lunch. They must have those same heartfelt pangs at the end of school.
Or just maybe they are every bit as ready for the end of the year as the students!
Thanks for all you do to make every student's day a little better. Have a wonderful summer - see you in the Fall!