Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Class of 2017

Our fourth-graders learn it can be hard to say goodbye

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"Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos."

— Snoopy

The wise old beagle was right. We can’t hold on to all the people we really like — even the ones who had us at "hello."

Just ask Sarah, a lifelong Winnipegger who met her best friend in kindergarten, "basically in the first five minutes."

Then, in Grade 2, the friend moved to Yellowknife.

"I was very sad," Sarah recalls. "It took me a whole month to get over it."

But we always do, because life is about growth and growth involves change and eventually we come to understand what another philosopher — even older and wiser than Snoopy — meant when he said that "Nothing endures but change."

It even happens to rocks, eventually. The tallest mountain could have once been the bottom of a lake. You learn that stuff in elementary school.

School can also teach you a lot about friendship — how to build healthy ones, how to resolve conflicts with people you like (or don’t like, or used to like) — but there’s no lesson plan for letting go.

"It makes you think they might move away, so what’s the point of making friends in the first place?" a friend we met in kindergarten said during a recent discussion on the subject. Good question, Noah.

Welcome back to Windsor School, where we say hello again to the Class of 2017 as they say goodbye to Grade 4 — and to two more of their classmates.

For the full story, see today's newspaper or our fpNews electronic edition.

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