Only in So Cal: kindergarteners enjoying man-made snow

As I dropped my sixth grade son at school this morning, it hit me. This is my last week as an elementary school mom. Admittedly, I’ve had some time to get used to this idea — eleven years, to be exact. That’s a lot of cookie dough and wrapping paper sales. A lot of field trip permission slips, holiday performances and bring-something-that-represents-your-heritage classroom potlucks. (My macaroni and cheese has always been popular. It was that or beer.)

My son is ready to transition to the big world of junior high. I thought I was too, until I found my eyes welling up as I pulled away from the curb.

Every once in awhile, the world — or at least Sirius radio — provides the perfect soundtrack to our lives. As I drove toward home, R.E.M.’s “The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” began to play. I’ve always liked that song, especially the super-speedy Great Big Sea cover. I’ve never understood the song’s meaning, so when I got home I looked it up on And guess what? It doesn’t really mean anything. Michael Stipes, who wrote it, calls it “a collection of streams of consciousness.” Hey, I can relate to that.

This one’s for all the moms and dads who are attending promotions, commencements, graduations or any other ceremony that marks the end of an era, for both your child and yourself. We’re all going to feel fine. Just give us a little time (and a whole bunch of tissues).

“The End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine,” Great Big Sea (Cover)