In a little over 30 days my first born son will graduate from elementary school and begin his journey into adulthood.

This fact amazes me.

My baby is not so much a baby anymore.

I’m bracing myself.

I’ve heard tales of the 5th grade day-long celebration from other parents. I’m told to bring tissues. Lots and lots of tissues. There will be slideshows and awards. There will be songs and refreshments.  All of these things I am quite certain I can handle. It is the “clap-out” that has me terrified. The clap-out is a tradition where the children from every grade emerge from their classrooms and line the halls so they can give a standing ovation to the 5th graders and their parents as they take their final walk through elementary school and out the door into a new world.

Every time I think about it I bawl. (Symbolism gets me every time.)

It reminds me of all of my “final walks” of life. I still remember every last walk from every school I’ve ever attended clear up through college.

While I am dreading the clap-out, I am truly thrilled for my son and the possibilities that he has ahead of him. This is a whole new phase of life, one that I know he is ready …for even if his parents are not.

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