Moving On


It doesn't seem that long ago that fifth and tenth grades were starting in our house. And now we've completed that circle around the sun and it's dreamily, sleepily summer vacation! My career as a mother of elementary aged children is officially over. Finito. It's bittersweet. Each phase and year seems to be the best, well maybe not 8th grade for my daughter, but mostly I have enjoyed each and every phase and age. Anyway, time flies and we've had a lot of year end celebrations around here. For my son's 5th grade teacher I made a portfolio….


…of some Japanese prints the kids made at the first of the year. 


Their wonderful art teacher had them hand carve a woodblock like print, based on the Japanese style. Mounted with red and black they are quite stunning. A couple of parents and I snuck into school one evening in the fall and pulled an extra set. Now their teacher has a full set of 18, one from each student. A wonderful way to remember this class of students she had for both 4th and 5th grades. Thank you, Mandy for you compassion and enthusiasm. 


I've also been busy making these little portfolios for their 5th grade graduation. Each student received one, filled with appreciation letters from each other and all their teachers. Each one a little different hand painted with their names, tied with a paper button and waxed thread. These are the before, filled with blank paper to be written on. The sweetest graduation gift ever. When I read my son's, I just welled up. They have experienced so much with their wonderful teacher and they learned how to appreciate each other and are able to express it. As a mother, my heart swells with appreciation.


I leave you with this lovely David Whyte poem – or part of one. For all you who have had graduates of all ages in this season of transition, you'll appreciate this:

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be, 
what urgency 
calls you to your
one love? What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
it's branches
against a future sky?
David Whyte
from "What To Remember Upon Waking"

3 Responses to Moving On

  1. Renee Howell says:

    Oh Fran, my youngest graduated from high school just two weeks ago. In August she heads to college, in another state. Talk about bittersweet. She is successful and walking out the door – which was the plan when she was born. Takes my heart away…..

    Your gifts are LOVELY!!! simply lovely.

  2. mary ann says:

    a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. all of it.
    david whyte. sigh.

  3. Stephanie says:

    and if not for the incredibly talented mother that you are….

    what beautiful memories you are creating and holding for each and every one of these kids and teachers.

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