This certainly won't come as a surprise to anyone but my children are growing up. Kind of an absurd statement if you think about it. I mean...that's the whole point, isn't it? All of our children are growing up. And we are growing older. Have I started depressing you yet? I'm sorry but I'm feeling really introspective today. Yesterday my kids started school again. My oldest son, Patrick, is now a fourth grader and my twins, Mattie and Michael are beginning second grade. I'm so proud of them all. They really are great kids. We just returned from vacation and they had to start school a day late. As I walked them all in to their respective classrooms on Tuesday morning, they didn't miss a beat and took it all in stride. As I picked them up they were all smiles and good reports so this set my mind at ease a bit.
Then we got home. Papers and folders came popping up out of their backpacks like the critters from that whack-a-mole game. Hard to keep up...If the teachers don't write their names on things, I get Mattie and Michael's papers and homework confused. Lots of forms to fill out and rules and regulations to read and sign. Michael forgot some of his homework and I had to call on some friends to email me his assignments. (Oh, noooo, Michael...not this again!) I won't lie to you...I wish they would give us poor parents a day or two to adjust to it all. For me, it seems a bit overwhelming. Other parents seem so on top of it, already up at the school putting in time as volunteers. Although I will be up at the school quite a bit as I always am, I have yet to fill out a volunteer form. I said I would hit the ground running when we returned from Maine. In reality, I just hit the ground. I'm slowly picking myself up and will get on my feet as soon as I catch up on my sleep and get all of these suitcases unpacked!
I have promised myself that I would let up a bit this year and not volunteer to do so many things at once. I promised the same thing last year but for some reason, when I hear the words "So who's available to help out with this project?" some neurotransmitter in my brain reads this as a signal to my right hand and causes it to leap up into the air involuntarily. Before I even realize it's up there, my name gets written down and the rest is history. I will try to control myself but we'll just have to see how things unfold, won't we?
It really is bittersweet. As a mom I am so proud to see the growth and maturity in my kids. It makes me smile to remember that these same children who used to look at me in adoration with little drooling, toothless grins are now smiling back at me as I drop them off at school sporting new teeth that seem a little bit too big for their faces. It brings tears of joy and a swelling of pride to my heart. It also makes me sad. I miss my babies. I miss holding them in the crook of my arm as I watch them sleep, softly singing to them as I pondered the possibilities of their dreams. I miss the days of wide-eyed wonder. I'm so grateful for the memories. I pray that I won't ever lose the memories of days gone by. I'm painfully aware that someday the memories will have to sustain me when they are grown and gone.
Yes, the lazy days of summer are already becoming a dim memory but there are lots of great memories yet to be made. Time to switch gears. Cheerleading practices, homework projects, football games, decorating the hallways and planning class parties are going to be filling my days and nights for some time to come. It will be full tilt, pedal to the floor crazy at least until Christmas break. Time to dry my tears, throw my shoulders back and step into the fray. Ready or not, here I come. And if you happen to hear me complain...don't even give it a second thought. As always, I am living for and loving every minute of it!