Done. Do you remember what that was like? Sorry, but I just couldn't resist a brief exploration of a theme that has been present in our house for the last few weeks. It started when Ava's pre-school program ended earlier this month, and will reach its formal conclusion tomorrow, when Madison finishes First Grade. Done. Over. Go home. Nothing to see here.
What an amazing dynamic, a recurring reality that is present in our lives for the first couple of decades and then, really, doesn't come back around until retirement, if we're lucky and blessed enough to get there. I can't yet make a comparison based on personal experience, but I have to believe the youthful version is better, even when you factor in the distinct advantages that come later, like additional financial resources, the benefit of life's perspective and, of course, the wine.
In the intervening years, we adults can look forward to vacations and rejuvenating interludes of various lengths and forms, but they are fleeting in nature by definition, and there's just nothing like being a student and having the school year - your day-to-day reality and existence - come to its rightful and expected conclusion.
I think it took me until college to fully appreciate the wonder of this cycle, probably because at that advanced stage the finality was preceded by the stress and crunch of "final" exams - a precious set of documents that magically capped everything that had come before, justified the year, assessed achievement and placed the latest mile marker firmly in the rearview mirror.
You walk out of the room after that last test, walk out of the building, walk into the summer air - or into the rain, it doesn't matter - nothing on your plate but whatever you decide to put there, at least until September.
Nothing pressing, nothing pending, you're done.