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Friday was a busy day, but aren't they all? With Max and Sophia's school years finishing up, I seem to be expected to be somewhere always, and don't forget the extra special performance tomorrow! Yeesh. It's a lot. 

Of course, Raphael's school year is finishing up too, and on Friday he brought me a stack of books and one essay to check. I shuffled through it all, noting this and that, here and there. I shoved a couple of books back to him so he could redo some problems. He was on it, all concentration and scribbles, and he shoved them back at me in minutes.

"Yup..." I said, scanning his algebra work, "...looks good. You're done."

He grinned at me like I'd said something particularly clever. Took me a minute. Oh. 

He's done.

Friday was his last day of homeschool. MY last day of being a homeschooler. In the fall he's off to high school, and I'm actually going back to college to finish a degree I began 26 years ago. 

After 14 years of homeschooling, it's over. 

Feels a little like stepping off a cliff. Free, yet free-fall. Can I do this? Can he? How will we get through the changes ahead?

It's time to move on, I know. He's restless, ready for something harder, something new. I'm excited to go back to school and actually achieve measurable results again. 

It's just that I feel like I know how to do this now. If I could start over at the beginning today, I think I'd be pretty good at it. If life only worked like that. If there were some other way to live than relentlessly forward.

I reached out and shook his hand, and my voice only cracked a little bit.

"Raphael, you have officially finished eighth grade. You are hereby promoted to ninth grade, and out of homeschool. Good luck, well done, and I cannot wait to see what you do next."

And with that, we took the last step in this long, lovely journey.

And into the next one.