Smiling Faces, Going Places.

photoSummer vacation has officially started.

School is out. Bedtimes dissolve and homework’s no more.

What’s also gone is the concept of Elementary School. Aaron our youngest is moving into the middle school next year as a 6th grader. At the end of the year move up ceremony I fought back tears more times than I care to admit. I still don’t feel old enough to have three kids much less having all three out of Kindergarten. Joey my oldest will be a Junior in the fall. A JUNIOR. The slideshow presentation of the 5th grade year-in-review is what got me. One by one pictures cycled through. Groups of kids in the moment, during recess, class field trips and activities. Best friends locked arm and arm or posed in silly formations that garnered many giggles from the 4 classrooms of onlooking soon to be sixth-graders.

The one consistent theme in each and every photo was a smile. No matter the circumstance or time of year. Some kids were drowning in oversized painting shirts for art class, or cold weather coats and hats, but yet smiles remained. Their future has yet to be written. They have every reason to smile. I like to call them smiling faces, going places, and for these 5th graders it only goes up from here. They will ride the high until life gets in the way. And when it does, I hope they never lose thier ability to smile. Especially Aaron. For me, over the last year I have been smiling a lot less than I should. I realize it. Those around me recognize it, and I miss it. Seeing the steady stream feed of smiling faces was a nice reality check straight from the innocence of youth. A constant reminder that I need to smile more. I remember those days where I used to smile every day, and I long for them to return. It won’t be an immediate transition, but it’ll happen.

It has too.

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