Writers know how important transitions are to make their words flow smoothly so readers can understand what they are trying to communicate and don't get lost. According to the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "transitions glue our ideas and our essays together."
In my little corner of the world, the past few days have been a time of major transitions. For us, the love of family and the kindness of friends have been the glue that has kept us together.
Being a shy kid, the thought of switching from a small Catholic elementary school to a large public high school has been intimidating. On the drive to his new school, he and his best friend from grade school told me how nervous they were.
By the time I picked them up three hours later, they told me how much fun they had and how they can't wait to start their new high school.
During transition day, my grandson met other students, found his way to his locker and classes, had a teacher/coach invite him to try out for a team, and even talked to some girls. His transition day was a big hit!
First-day jitters is the last hurdle he has to overcome: riding the school bus and maneuvering through his first lunch period, but experiencing transition day has made that prospect less daunting.
And he isn't the only one making a major change this month.
Yesterday, my granddaughter began her trek to college, where it's Rush Week for coeds interested in Greek Life and thinking about joining a sorority.
After a quick breakfast, my husband and grandson loaded her car and mine. We barely fit her stuff into two cars with room for two of us in each vehicle; I wondered how she would fit everything in her half of the dorm room.
Oops, they're not called dorms anymore; they're called residence halls.
On the 100-mile drive, she and I had a good talk. Mostly, I listened, and we both shed some tears. To keep her eyes dry while she drove, I read out loud a few pages from Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie, creator of the TOMS shoe company.
She had already started reading the book but needs to have it finished for a group discussion the first week at school -- and I'm always happy to read and learn, especially if it's something my grandchildren are reading and learning.
Upon arrival, we were directed to park in spots designated for 20-minute unloading. That's when the fun began. The scene was controlled chaos as students and family members unloaded cars, trucks, and vans then waited their turns to check in and haul everything up to their rooms.
Several hours later, with the help of her grandpa and "little" brother, who did most of the heavy lifting and moving of furniture, she was unpacked and ready to register for Greek Week.
After sharing a late lunch with the family of one of her good friends, we loaded the dolly, the empty suitcases, and the storage containers into my car for the trip home.
By 6 p.m., we said our farewells and shed even more tears as we watched her and her friend head off for their first Greek Life meeting and the beginning of a new chapter in her life.
Loving families, good friends, and smooth transitions; without them, we'd be lost.