As the school year comes to its inevitable end, the summer begins. When the summer ends, a new school year will begin. This is the cycle of our lives and will continue to be so for many years to come. The only consolation is the manner in which this change occurs, disorienting enough in itself, that somehow seems to make the transition not easier, but more expected.
Now, with Alex ending his time in elementary school, this pattern is merging even more so as he visits the middle school he will be attending next year. Surprisingly enough, he found the change so enjoyable he was much happier and smiley afterwards—a promising start that merges with the close of this year and his grade school experience.
Some changes are, however, abrupt. They happen without warning, or at the very least without understanding. In these times, such as my mom’s recent move, it is often those things that stay the same that help orient my boys. For example, when Alex first got to visit my mom’s house, full of boxes and other moving paraphernalia, it was the presence of the television in her new (albeit unlighted) living room that helped to ground him. The only video he could find was the Netflix DVD I brought for her to watch—a black-and-white old movie, but with nice opening credits Alex could very much appreciate—but it was still something that felt familiar and right to him.
Other times change happens and the only consolation we can offer is some semblance of routine to make it bearable. But, then again, sometimes these changes shatter routines completely, leaving nothing to cling to but the people around us.
So, as difficult as I find the change between school and summer, summer and school, and back again, I take consolation in the fact that it is, in and of itself, a larger cycle with a now-familiar pattern. The days of terrible disruption are behind us and the boys handle the switch with remarkable acceptance considering their challenges during those early years of Early Childhood classes.