One of the things I love about growing older is gaining perspective and maybe even a little wisdom. My definition of celebration has shifted as I’ve lived and learned. More often than not, it’s about the small moments. It usually involves pausing and noticing and breathing in and exhaling. Some celebrations are as simple as sitting still and smiling.
As the school year winds down for me and my students (and my college age daughters), our days are full of celebratory moments. A raised score on an end-of-year assessment, a recognition of growth as a reader, a look back through the writer’s notebook, a look ahead at summer plans. The last page of the class read-aloud. The last spell check. It’s bittersweet, but they are ready. I am too.
My oldest comes home from college today. She isn’t just starting her summer, she is beginning a whole new chapter as she leaves the university she’s attended for the last two years and begins her studies at her dream school, which happens to be only about five miles from home. What I love and celebrate most is not that she got into such a competitive school, but that she took charge of her life and learning. That she decided what she wanted and needed and went for it. That she took time to examine where she was in her journey and where she wanted to go next and she figured out how to do that best. Today, in the midst of many small celebrations happening all around me, I’m celebrating Frances who is “braver than (she) believes, stronger than (she) seems and smarter than (she) thinks.”