Monday, August 26, 2013

i will wave when they look back

12th, 10th, 8th, 5th and kindergarten!
and there they go.

all five of them out the door and off to school and into the next new year -- the next new thing. the next season of their quick-as-a-wink childhoods.

summer things put away. bare feet covered in school shoes. bathing suits swapped out for new digs. goggles, towels, and pool bags left hanging -- the remnants of summer abandoned on hooks in our mud room.

a seasonal changing of the guard.

backpacks and book bags and lunch boxes now strewn across the kitchen ... staking claim for what is rightfully, once again, theirs.

no need for sun screen this morning.

emily asks me to braid her hair.

i can barely stand for the mixture of emotions tangling around my feet, threatening to topple me over as i crouch before them in the their cleaned-up state, snapping pictures and capturing a moment and trying my best to remain calm. the quick click of shutter matches the beat of my mama-heart. it's the rhythm of right now. the staccato sound of tapping out the message of this morning: 

because this day will never happen again. today all five of them head off to school. same day. same morning. same hour. same direction.

somehow, we have been handed this precious gift of perfect coordination.

it's a first, and it will be a last. 

today, our little bella begins kindergarten. and today, our almost grown up emily begins her senior year of high school. the other three spaced across the in-between-years, like glue holding together these two wildly far apart places. 

and it's all this mother can do to keep from dropping to her knees and clinging to the feet of these children, weeping, "stop! don't move. don't change. don't leave. don't grow up!"

except that that would be so entirely weird i'm sure all five of them, including the cute kindergartner, would race right out of the house forgetting their lunches and backpacks and brand new-first-day-of-school-shoes.  

so, i will calmly take a few pictures.

i will capture this sweet moment as they pause in one place ... under one roof ... for one purpose ... at one time.

i will remind them to grab their random first day of school things from the counter. i will hurry them along and try not to fuss too much. i will smile and put mama kisses on their cheeks ... even on the cheek of the boy who is now shaving. i will smile hard and hug tightly and let go appropriately.

i will wave when they look back

i will not think about the fact that, next year, on this day, emily will already be moved into her college dorm. next year, she will not ask me to braid her hair. woman pauses in her typing. should she delete that last sentence? delete such a thought? why go there? right?

but i will be brave:  leave the sentence. let the children go. capture the moment. embrace the change.

wipe the tears.

wash the breakfast dishes.

rejoice in the day.

and give thanks for it all.

kindergarten with mrs. paine!
5th grade with mrs. houston!

after bella's half day, we had lunch at the minnesota arboretum with our buddies,
 "little emme" and miss di.  (thanks for great pictures diana)!


Heidi Schmidt said...

awww, I've looked forward to seeing these pictures all day since seeing you this morning. Your family is too precious for words. What a blessing Minnesota inherited when the McNatt family joined us. Love you, beautiful Jody!

Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful family and I love reading your posts. Treasure every moment of this coming year with your family all together for it will never be quite the same after your oldest leaves for college. My daughter is now a junior in college and I remember how fast her senior year of high school seemed to fly by and how different our house was when she left for college.

Jamie Molle said...

I was sitting in the chapel service yesterday morning, between 2 women I had never seen nor met before. So I was holding it together with every breath. But at the end, when my boy who was seated at the end of my row walked right in front of me on his way to his new classroom, I patted him on the back and smiled. But tears were dripping off my chin as I instantly relived our summer. Did I make the time "count" in this boys fleeting childhood? As I walked to my car, staring at my toes, a woman who had been sitting behind me laughed and said "aww, some day you'll look FORWARD to the 1st day of school!" I smiled graciously, but thought to myself "no. not in this lifetime."

Aus said...

Beautiful Jody - all the right thoughts captured - good to not delete the line any more than you would delete any memory good or bad...because they are all good...

And we have about 10 days of our summer left - and looking forward to them!

hugs - aus and co.