Posts Tagged ‘FES’

Jun

19

2014

Entangled Roots: Once a Frog, Always a Frog

Filed under: Community, Family, Pondering, School Visits

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.

– Mister Rogers

 

For those of you who are new to the blog. I guess I should warn you. I can’t separate my personal life from my writing life. They are inexplicably intertwined. I usually do my best to create some connectivity between the branches, but sometimes they simply are what they are–grafted together. In the past, I’ve blogged about the school my children have attended. I’ve written with joy and hope. (Room 100 Holds the Secret to Fighting the War on Terror. Are You Interested?) I’ve also had the heart crushing disappointment of writing about administrative failure. (A Person’s A Person No Matter How Small: An Open Letter to the Wappingers Central School District)

Today I get to write about entangled roots…

Yesterday I had the pleasure of returning to my boy’s old elementary school. The one from before we moved. We returned for HUGS Day, which is an epic field day and party. A celebration. It’s a great day to be a FES Frog. But for the Sabatini’s it was a little bit like the ups and downs in one of those bouncy houses. We were so excited to see all our friends again, but at times, no matter how much fun we were having, it was a little bitter sweet. We were forced to look at what we’d been missing–what we are still missing until school comes to an end next week. The boys and I discussed it afterwards and came to the conclusion that being there had far outweighed the small hurts that left little bruises we’d have to recover from later.

Here were some of the big bounces that made the day great…

Small bounce house

Yeah–HUGS day is a bouncy house bonanza!

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 Good friends fall right back into place.

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Sharing the experiences of a new school with the old school.

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 Visiting familiar friends of a different nature.

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Reengaging partners in crime <3

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Eating too much.

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And singing and dancing–a HAPPY teacher flash mob.

But life is strange and somewhere in the middle of snacks, flash mobs and catching up with friends, I overheard conversations that caused me to step back. Everyone was talking about the up and coming 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony (which we are happily participating in) and the last day of school. Everyone was discussing all the expected tears–how hard and sad it was all going to be. Huh? My mind spun a little trying to connect the dots. Then understanding hit me like a lightening bolt as I realized what I had been missing.

We were no longer standing in the same place our friends were.

We had already grieved the loss of things the way they were. We had had to say goodbye and it had been hard–really, really hard. For us, school being over will be a kind of relief, an end of a particularly rough and knotted branch of our lives. Everyone else at FES is now poised to be standing on the very thin line between the past and the future, with all the emotional and actual baggage that comes with it. And while we might be physically standing next to everyone on that thin line, it isn’t the same.  We are like a group of friends who has opted for different paths through the woods. We will arrive at the same destination–but now we have very different stories to tell about our journey to get there.

But sometimes there are advantages to hearing someone else tell the tale of their journey. This week in particular, as we meet back up to celebrate moving up, I’d like to share what we learned on the road less traveled to an FES graduation.

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We’ll all be okay. We’ve got this, because we have each other.

Often in the hustle and bustle of our growth–our forward momentum–we forget about our roots. Our eyes gravitate to the part of the tree that is easy to see. We forget about the strength and beauty of the roots–the parts that have nurtured us and held us in place while we’ve grown. The part that is hidden. FES has given us everything we need to anchor us to the best parts of ourselves and each other. I know this because when my boys had their lives painfully pruned back, they continued to be resilient, to grow and thrive. They are firmly woven with their past, their mentors and their friends, which has allowed them to remain standing, no matter how hard the wind has blown.

Over the next week, the 5th graders at FES will begin the process of branching out–of growing up. They will often take different paths as they grow. But we are very lucky because these kids are all trees in the same beautiful wood and it is my suspicion that beneath it all–their roots are entangled–adding more strength and support for the years to come. It has been my family’s pleasure to be a part of the FES family. Once a frog always a frog. And that is the truth. But being one thing doest limit you from being more things. Love is not limits–it is opportunity. So I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone at our new school. I’m so very lucky because they grow strong and sturdy trees with beautiful roots there, too. They mended and supported us when we were a little broken. They cared for us like we had always been there–instead of what we really were–shell-shocked transplants. And now, because we haven’t moved too far, we have roots in two wonderful places. All that is left to do is entangle them even further. Be prepared to make new friends…

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.

 

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