We still have this one week before the call of the fall schedule. This one week, to shift gears, let go, and start again.
Sometimes people say, We’re ready! and I think they mean they have all their school supplies and the clothes that fit the season and the growing children. If they mean they are mentally and emotionally prepared, they need to be teaching the rest of us. I haven’t met a mother (or any guardian of a child’s life and heart) that feels ready for such changes.
New school years are like birthdays. As exciting and good as they can be, they are a slap to our nostalgia, our holding on, our parenting hearts.
Almost every single Facebook post with smiling (or eye-rolling) first day-ers this week said something like, “Where did the time go?”
We mark time with these First Days and time is a slippery thief, only slow in grief or illness. Most often, even when seemingly stalled, like at the DMV, time is a future-jumper, laughing and running away and leaving us standing there like our bag was just snatched while we walked along oblivious.
Summer stalls. Time marches on despite it.
Yesterday, I noticed Keegan continuing to shove loose papers into his backpack, as though I’ve taught him nothing. He did this in a few moments while I cleaned and picked up around the house, clanging around in the kitchen, probably messes he made.
I smiled and decided to bite my tongue. It’s the first week. I mean, pick your battles. Life is too short with time doing all that stealing.
Then I snuck the papers out and slid them into sheet protectors.
We ate barbecue. We snuggled on the couch. Played games on the iPad with little brother. We prepared for the next day. We await volleyball tryouts and our first football game of the season.
Every moment shifts, wraps itself around me while I try not to think too much about how we do time. How I miss them during the day. How my heart may never adjust to aging and maturing, and what of theirs? Are they as good as they seem? Will they adjust to school okay? How is it that they can be so resilient? Thank God I have a hudband that is crazy about them and loves to be with them too. Thank God we are trying, so hard, to do right by them, each moment.