Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Today officially marks the last day of summer. Tomorrow morning we will wake at the crack of dawn, throw snacks into a brown paper sack (or a bright pink lunch box) and fight the traffic to get three children to three different schools all by 7:55 AM. Whew!

I know that at least several of my friends have been waiting for this day for weeks if not since June 25th, our official first day of summer. I have not. I don’t understand why all of the previous mentioned horrors are something to hope for and wish to come sooner. If I could stretch the next 24 hours out for another week, I would do so without blinking. Routine can be great, but for a non-morning person like me, the 6AM alarm clock is nothing but alarming. Every. Single. Morning. I never have gotten used to it and my oldest will be a freshman this year.

So. There’s that. I have a freshman in HIGH SCHOOL. Middle school seems like it was a huge blur and I’m regretting not cherishing his little 6th grade self more often. He’s suddenly taller than me and his muscles are bigger than mine. I’m holding onto the fact that he can’t find his shoes in the morning without my help, but other than those little things, he is well on his way to adulthood. It really does happen too fast, and I’m not just trying to sound like a cliché. This momma’s heart sometimes skips a beat thinking of the miniscule amount of time I have left with him under my roof.

There’s also my middle who’s starting middle school. He doesn’t look old enough to be in the 6th grade. But I know that one day too soon, I will turn around and bump into the strange man-child that he will grow into over the next few years. I will mistake his voice for my husband. I will be shocked and lock myself in my room with the video camera on “play”, lamenting his little boy voice and wondering why time keeps speeding up to a pace that I cannot handle. Thank goodness he still likes Rubix cubes and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

My littlest, will be a second grader. She will start reading chapter books and writing essays with “details”. She will start to care more about how her hair looks and stop letting me help her pick out her clothes. But she will still want to cuddle every night as she tells me about her teacher and her friends and whisper in secret about a boy that she thinks is cute. I am lucky. Her focus will not shift to her peers for at least four more years. Mommy and Daddy will still be the center of her universe while her brothers forge ahead, making safe passage for their baby sister. We find that we are different parents with her but that story is for another post.

My loves are growing up. While they are supposed to, it’s happening at an alarming rate. I’m not ready for it. It’s like that old saying, “you don’t know something until you know”. That’s how this feels. The first day of school, 2014, does not bring sighs of relief from me but instead, small pains of anguish as time marches forward, sometimes dragging me along kicking and screaming. It reminds me of the preciousness of parenthood and the need to move gracefully into the next phase. A high schooler who all too soon will leave the confines of our family and the memories and feelings of comfort I want to instill in him so he wishes to come back from time to time. Our middle schooler who is on the cusp of teenhood and my need to help him with the precarious balance of the desires of childhood and the independence that comes with junior high. My baby, whom I wish to keep little as she navigates her world, will refuse me and I must relent. Our job as parents is to nurture and comfort and love and then LET GO so that the world can benefit from the gifts and talents that we help to bring out in them. It is the hardest, most complicated, most aggravating, most inspiring thing we will ever do. And tomorrow, we will drop them off to their teachers and their friends and look forward to hearing how the first day went and try to savor every moment. Don't let it pass too quickly.

Have a great first day everyone!

{H}

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