15 June 2007

Lyrical Friday: Moving On

Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other's gold

A circle is round
It has no end
That's how long
I will be your friend

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be

The kids sang "Make New Friends" at the preschool promotion ceremony last week. In the context of military life (and all of her classmates are connected to the military in some way), that last verse is especially appropriate.

Today is Katrina's last day of preschool for the year. In September, she will start kindergarten at the same Montessori school she's attending now. Many of her current classmates will not, however. Some are moving, in the inevitable round of PCS-ing that is part of military life. (PCS is short for Permanent Change of Station and is usually used as a verb "We're PCS-ing to Japan".) Most of her PCS-ing classmates this year will be moving back to the States, to DC, to Colorado, to Alaska, to Washington state, to Illinois. Some of her classmates will start at the Department of Defense schools on one of the bases here.

Only a few of the kids Katrina's age will continue into kindergarten with her next year. (Many of the younger kids will stay on, and there will be a few new kindergarteners thrown into the mix.) A number of kids will remain in the area, though, so I'm hoping that I can foster some ongoing friendships despite the school changes.

As someone who spent nearly all of her growing-up years in one town, in one house, in one school district, and with basically the same group of kids from elementary school through high school, I'm not sure how to handle the inevitable comings and goings among Katrina's friends.

Even if we were back in the States, changes would be common. The DC area--perhaps any metropolitan area--is prone to more transience. People move in and out all the time. Rural areas seem to be the only places where people tend to stay put. But there are not a lot of computer consulting jobs in rural areas.

Of course, Katrina handles making new friends far better than I ever did. She is just naturally confident and friendly. Put her on a playground full of strange kids (if they're near her age and speak English, that is), and on a good day she will be directing the play within minutes. A few weeks ago, she did just that. She ended up playing with two girls who were a head taller than she was, which tells me they must have been at least a year older. But Katrina was definitely the leader, and the other two were happily running along after her. She has a knack for either joining others in play or drawing others to her.

Which makes me think that all this ruminating about friends moving on is more about my own fears from my own decidedly less people-friendly personality. In any case, I'm sad about the school year ending, even as I look forward to not having to roust us both out of the house every morning for the next few months.

Plus, next year she's in school every day from 9 to 3. My miracle baby is growing up. She's looking forward to being the oldest at school, and she's already been helping some of the younger ones. No, it's me who wants time to slow down. Just a little.

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