The music blares, the lights flash and the alcohol pours. I’m at 8th grade graduation. The alcohol satisfies the adults while the kids dance their booties off and devour the candy bar. Tonight Amelia “moved up” to 9th grade. Before the entire class and their parents went clubbing, we sat down dressed up in the sun while 64 graduating students spoke independently about a wish, a hope or a prayer. Four students sang Let it Be and I’m pretty sure every guest had a tear in their eye.
This time of year always brings emotion. It signifies passing of time, inches of growth and seasons of change. For us, this year’s spring fever created more intensity than ever. All five of us procured valued friendships and newfound freedoms that we see coming to an end one week from now. I am unable to accurately describe the range of emotion we each currently feel about wrapping up this year we spent in Spain. What I am able to confidently acknowledge is that it will be harder to leave Barcelona than it was to leave Detroit almost a year ago. I only know this now because the realization of leaving another place we came to call home looks us in the face daily. We attended and will continue to attend exit, good bye or hasta luego parties. These celebrations remind, honor and applaud The No Spain No Gain theory we initially sought. As the end of this experience raises its hand in my face I embrace the impending exciting moments of hellos as well as the tearful emotional goodbyes. I even got a lump in my throat as I walked away from my Catalan butcher for the last time with whom I never quite did conquer the language barrier. However, what I unearthed from that connection as well as many others is just how much a smile can say.
Ready or not….here we come.