A Series of Little Goodbyes
My older daughter is graduating from high school in about a month, so she is about to go through the process of experiencing something that has become a piece of her life for the final time. Yesterday was one such day. I have been taking my daughter to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for piano lessons and music theory classes once a week for ten years. When we started, it happened that we were usually driving up together while NPR was playing the Sunday Puzzle on the radio – and once podcasting began, I downloaded the Puzzle and we listened to it (and later other puzzles and quiz shows) as part of our routine.
For ten years, I have delivered her to the Conservatory and then sat reading or working while she took a class or lesson. Yesterday, while she was participating in a workshop, I realized that I was sitting and reading in the Conservatory for the final time. We will be going up two more times, but each of them will be a performance that I will attend. Next week my daughter will play in a recital. The week after that she will graduate. All those hours relaxing, enjoying a weekend morning in an environment dedicated to music and learning have come to an end. More importantly, an activity that I have shared with my daughter for ten years is soon coming to an end.
This has me thinking about how we consider life to be static even as it is constantly changing all around us. As much as I love having my daughter at home, I would never want to keep her from growing and heading off to college this fall. As much as I have loved each of the jobs that I have had in my life, I have always been even more interested in what comes next than in what has happened in the past.
As much as I dislike getting older, I would not want to become stuck in an endless loop of living the same experiences over and over again. I nowhere near ready to stop getting older.
Life is change. Change is growth. Growth is good.