By:  Staci Stallings

Someone once said that fiction is nothing like life because fiction has to make sense.  I’m not sure how true that is, though sometimes it really is, but this last Friday I saw very clearly one way that life is like fiction–namely that there are chapters.

Often when I write, I don’t chop a chapter at a “logical” stopping place.  I chop it in the middle of a scene so you have to know what the next person’s reply is.  I know.  That’s cruel and devious.  But hey, I’ve got to keep you reading, right?

On Friday, my kids got out of school.  The end of kindergarten for one.  The end of fourth grade for another who is now moving on to be in the oldest class in the school.  The fifth graders at our school get a lot of responsibility placed on their shoulders–safety patrol, flag duty, library helpers, in addition to many classes and special projects.  Fifth grade is a big deal.  Oldest child moves from seventh to eighth, which in my life was one of those quantum leap years.

At the end of the day, I attended two graduations.  The first was in a huge collesium that seats 5,000 people.  My nephew gave the Salutatory Address, and did an oustanding job.  Then I traveled 60 miles, literally to the edge of a field full of cows for a graduation in my hometown.  My dad gave the commencement address there.  What struck me was it really didn’t matter–colesium or field, these students were all closing one chapter and opening another.

What will the new chapters hold?  College?  Marriage?  Work?  Children?

What joys?  What sorrows?

Today I open a new chapter in life.  It’s called Summer with my kids at home.  This chapter will be a challenge after getting really comfortable at home by myself all day.  Factoring in children to running errands and making meetings will not be easy.  But it’s helpful to remember it is but a chapter, and there will come a time when this chapter too will end.  In fact, next year we will be having a graduation from eighth grade and a graduation from fifth grade, so the next chapter should be really exciting.

Whatever chapter you’re on today, please enjoy it–learn what it has to teach you, spread some love.  It will be the only time you get to “read” it.

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