The last week of school snuck up on me, just like the last week before she started school did. I spent so much of her life with one eye on the future, for the time when she would grow up and toddle off to school, her first steps into the wide world of which I was not a part. Everything from where we chose to live, to when we took vacations, to jobs we took, all bent towards the idea that she’d soon be in school.

You know, if you’re a parent, that a part of your brain is constantly, irrevocably, forever thinking about your child. Well, so much of that used to be churning out this idea: one day, she would be in school, and she needed to have these skills, and these were the programs available to her, and this was the registration date; just a constant barrage of low-intensity, low-urgency thoughts that never fully went away.

And then she started school! It was momentous!

And now… she’s finished kindergarten.

I’m sorry to sound trite, but I swear it was just a couple months ago that I was dropping her off for her first day. And I know right now everyone who’s ever had a kid graduate high school is shaking their head at me, like, oh, you sweet summer child, but I’m absolutely dumbfounded that it’s already over. It’s off to grades with numbers, next year. Kindergarten is done for our family, forever. It’s bitter, not sweet. I’m pretty maudlin about it, honestly, way more than I was when she started school and ended that chapter of her life.

I’m so proud of how much she’s blossomed in school–it’s been hard as hell, her adjusting to life under the yoke, as it were, but she’s grown so much. I can’t believe how confident she’s gotten in French, how smart and empathetic she is. It’s not like I want her to stay in kindergarten forever!! But it’s still sad, and weird, to need to reconfigure my mental map for the rest of her life, and not just ‘getting her ready for kindergarten’.

Someone asked for a poster of the last comic, so I’ve put it up on Redbubble if you’re so inclined! I can do that with essentially any strip, by the way, so if there’s ever a strip you’d really like, let me know and I can pop up a poster version!