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A short story to make you smile

Brenda St John Brown

So yesterday I was all about, "Yay! No more school. No more schedule." (Which I'm STILL all about in general, don't get me wrong.) But, I'm feeling a bit contemplative today so you can bear with me or tune out, but consider yourself forewarned. :) The Boy's head teacher is leaving his school to take a fantastic opportunity elsewhere. Everyone's known she's leaving for months and preparations have long been underway. Her replacement was hired, gifts were bought, champagne was drunk.

Until the actual last day, which was filled with tears of parents, students and teachers saying goodbye. Because saying goodbye is tricky business. As someone who's moved around and said my share of goodbyes, seeing my kid's reaction, which mirrored the reaction of us all, hit me hard. That "God, I hate this. I don't begrudge her the opportunity because it's clearly amazing. But, God, do I hate this. So much."

I struggled to know what to say until I remembered my first real goodbye, also at age ten. I'd befriended a new girl in school whose family was on a one-year assignment to my hometown from Germany. She and I were inseparable, and then the end of the year came. I cried buckets, sure that I'd never get over the loss of my best friend. This was way before email, FaceTime or Skype, but we actually did write letters for a few years before the time between letters got too long to bridge what had happened in between.

But, gone is not forgotten, which is what I told The Boy. Moving on means carrying people and places in your heart. Missing morphs into memories with smiles attached. It's a difficult lesson at ten, or twenty, or forty, but sometimes you get super lucky and you reconnect. I randomly Googled my friend and found one person with her name, so on the off chance I emailed her. (Because what's the worst that can happen? The wrong person thinks I'm crazy, which is ok.) And it was her!!!! I can't tell you how thrilled I am, but I told The Boy and his smile was huge. :)