Sunday, February 20, 2011

Last Greenhill Gala

after 13 years as a parent
i just finished
volunteering at the Gala
where my children
went to school

all 3 girls
went to kindergarten there
i had taught kindergarten there
it was my favorite year

all 3 girls
were in the Nutcracker
their annual performance

all 3 girls
got the experience
the 1st grade thanksgiving feast
the 2nd grade Texas play
the 5th grade Greek Day
the 6th grade Renaissance Day

all 3 girls
learning how to read and write
and do multiplication skills
there
at that place
where we felt like family
like a real community
looking out for one another

but
the place is not the same anymore
i don't feel it
my husband doesn't feel it
my kids definitely don't

Karen left after 9th grade
her mental health depended on it
she was slowly killing herself
pushing herself so hard
and expecting herself to be perfect

When Bethany started high school
i warned her
not to take it all so seriously
she said she wouldn't
i wanted her to leave after 9th grade
but she didn't want to
she had been there for 11 years by then
she had some solid friendships

but 6 weeks into school
she felt so much pressure
and depression
she studied all the time
and didn't get the grades she felt were good enough
and didn't have a social life
so she left

about that time
we knew that Lucy was going to have to leave to
we knew we needed to look
but
at that point
we knew we couldn't have her even start high school
she is all smiles
so happy
the biggest joy to meet
but
she had faced some rough times
in the last year
at her school
and her smile was fading
if she went to high school there
we might lose that sparkle forever

so
tonight
i volunteered
because that is what i do best
at the annual Gala
i have always done it
some years very big
other years pretty small
but
always
something

this year was no exception
except it was my last
no fanfare
no explanation
but it was bittersweet
because
i knew it was the ending
even though
not everyone there did