Thursday, April 23


5 years ago today was my graduation ceremony at BYU. Because of my years in school, mainly college, spring will always feel like the end of things, like a time when life changes.

My first year in college I lived in the dorms and had one of the best years of my life. It's a year I would relive if I had the chance, but not change anything (well, maybe one or two small things). I lived, and became good friends with so many great people, most of whom I still stay in contact with and count as some of my dearest friends. There's a special bond that forms when you live with people, when you're 18/19 years old and still growing up, and when you're away from home for the first time that just can't happen any other time. Because of that bond, those girls I lived with will always be tied to me, even if it's just in my memories. At the end of that year, in April, I went home to work for the summer. It was the end of a carefree year (school work...what school work??) and it was a change back to the old ways. I loved being home with my family, but it was hard to return to rules and housework and having to call friends instead of walking right next door to find them.

(most of us...but not when we were 19)

But still, I was lucky. I made good friends that summer too, some that I will always consider my friends, no matter the changes we go through, where we live, or how often we talk to each other.

When I returned to school I was reunited with my friends, but things were different, as they are always expected to be. And I found Jeremy. When April rolled around again I didn't go home--I stayed and planned a wedding.

The next year of school was very different, but fun in the way new things always are. I had a husband that I talked to after classes instead, and I didn't have any one's clothes to borrow when I was tired of mine--though that made it a lot easier to keep track of all of my clothes too! In April we planned out our summer together. No going home, no wedding, just work and a few classes and our first significant amount of time spent apart (5 days--it was hard!).

Then school started again, our most stressful and emotional year yet, and also our last. It started out great, but half way through the year it became a trial. I took some of my hardest classes, I got pregnant, my brother died, and Jeremy started working full time. I hope I never forget the relief I felt at the end of this day 5 years ago, standing in my cap and gown. Even though I technically still had an online class to finish, the stress was gone--there's nothing like the feeling of knowing that you've finally finished the long process that is formal education. And for us it was a time of big change. We had four short months to prepare ourselves for one of the biggest life changing experiences--parenthood.

So every April when the sun shines a little more and I can awaken my sleepy soul from its winter hibernation, I think of what's ending and look ahead to what's beginning. This year, it's the end of my 5 years of schedule free parenting. In August Alexis will start her own formal education and our lives will change again. But I'm grateful that I have the whole summer to prepare myself for it because it's going to be a hard change for me to make.

Does anybody else feel this way about April? What's changing for you?


Merrick said...

Spring time always seems like the beginning of summer, which means the beginning of FREEDOM!! Unfortunately the last year I was starting a new job full time. This year, my job continues and school continues. What a ripoff that we don't get the whole summer off like we used to....

Mary said...

I know what you're talking about, but for me the feeling hits more in May, the time when school (including college) used to end, the month before I was married, and the month that my first baby was born.
This May will signify a big change for us, with the birth of our third child. Also, I am having a tough time with my son ending Kindergarten. That just means that in a few months time he'll be gone from me ALL DAY :( He won't be here to eat lunch with us, have nap time with us, run daily errands with us, etc. It seriously breaks my heart to think about it. Kindergarten was hard, but not too different from preschool - but First Grade, OY! I've even gone so far as to seriously contemplate homeschooling (a bad idea for him because he desperately needs the social interaction) or holding him back a year (even though he doesn't need it) just to avoid this necessary stepping stone in life. It's just one thing after another, isn't it??

Reynolds Family said...

Amazing post! It really made me think about all my April's-past; thanks for sharing your beautiful memories!