A Year of Endings, a Year of Beginnings

Allegedly, the year begins in January and ends in December. That’s what our calendars tell us. But to me, the more accurate representation is that the year begins in August and ends in May, coinciding with the school calendars that dictate our lives. I always get nostalgia twangs in May; in December I’m  just ready for the old year to be gone.

A Year of Endings, a Year of Beginnings

This is an especially poignant May for me, because I had my first child 18 (and a half) years ago, which means that this year I’ll have one high school graduate, and since I had one daughter every three years, the youngest will be promoted from 6th grade to junior high. My other daughter  will be progressing from freshman to sophomore year.

This is a year of endings. I recently attended the last elementary school band concert. I have helped with the last talent show. I have driven the last after school carpool.

The oldest, Rachel, and I have shopped for her last prom dress. She is taking her last AP tests. I’ve attended her last parent-teacher conference.

A Year of Endings, a Year of Beginnings

With my last Before and After School Program payment, I’ll finally be out of the daycare-paying business. Can’t say I’m sad to let that one go–although of course it’s just in time to start paying  college tuition.

Parental love is the only kind of love that encourages the loved one to leave.

I’m beyond excited and proud of my daughter. I’m in awe of how responsible she has been: applying for her college of choice the minute she could, filling out the housing application the first day they were available, and essentially adulting all on her own with barely any help from us. She’s ready. She’s “so done” with high school. Only a few more weeks, a few more tests, a few more projects, and then she’s done. 

A Year of Endings, a Year of Beginnings
1st day of preschool; 1st day senior year

I’ve had between one and three kids at Wickham Elementary since 2006. I only have a few more weeks of driving the youngest, Piper, to that school in the morning, having goofy conversations, talking about the disc jockeys on the radio, or about Harry Potter, or about what will happen in school, or about what if a meteor hits Disneyworld. She’s ready to be done with elementary school, with the limitations placed on lunchroom seating, and the expectations of quiet acquiescence to rules with no point.

Pretty soon the oldest won’t be in my bedroom every night, as I try to get ready for bed, talking to me about the music she loves, or Harry Potter theories, or what happened in school that day. I imagine I’ll miss that.

I hope she sends us a text once in a while.

The youngest and the oldest will both be at new schools this year: new buildings, new friends, new things to learn. The middle child, Samantha, will get to start her 2nd year in the same school, more confident in where the classes are, and in what she can accomplish.

The month of May always has the strange mixture of nostalgia for the joys of the present (now-stalgia?) and the relief of finishing a year. It’s a month of endings, and August will start a year of beginnings. I hope we can all enjoy the summer breather in between.

A Year of Endings, a Year of Beginnings


Sharon Falduto is a Central Iowa native who came to University of Iowa in 1991 and essentially never left the area. She is involved in local community theater, notably as one of the co-founders of Iowa City's Dreamwell Theatre. She has also directed children's plays with the Young Footliters group. Sharon works in with English Language Learners in a support position at Kirkwood Community College.. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Matt, and three daughters Rachel, Samantha, and Piper.


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