Well, it’s here. All the wailing of gnashing of teeth cannot stop the march of time that has brought us here, to the brink of another school year. The kids aren’t too excited about it either.
That’s right. I’m the one who is dreading next Monday more than anyone in this house. Because while yes, I will be glad to have a little sanity back in my daily life, I will also miss the boys terribly while they’re at school. I will make the trips to their schools and leave them all with their respective teachers and administrators, then I will come home and cry. Because without them, the house is so quiet. And because I will be acutely aware again of how fleeting this life really is. Our time with them at home is slipping away, and no matter how hard I try to hang onto each passing moment, they seem to be going by faster and faster.
I am reading a new book that deals with the subject of life after 40, and I could hardly read past a line in the introduction that hit me like a ton of bricks. It said that we are passing into a phase of life where our children and our careers will no longer be the primary sources of joy in our lives. BOOM! Just like that, I realized all over again that this magical time is going to end, and before we know it, we will be sending our boys into the world to become the men God has created them to be.
Forgive my nostalgia, but this time of year for me is very much like New Year’s is to everyone else. My life isn’t measured by the change of the date on a calendar as much as it is by those big life moments, and each year, the first day of school ranks right up there with birthdays, Christmas and all the other biggies. It’s always been that way, maybe even as far back as when I was a kid preparing for a new school year. At the very least, I know it’s been this way since we took Peter to Kindergarten on his first day, then Brad went to work and I went home and locked myself in my closet so I could cry my heart out without scaring Matthew and Samuel. I remember that day like it was yesterday. And I remember the emotions from that day, primarily that of pure loneliness. Peter had been my buddy for five years! Then one day, our long days together came to a close and I started sending him away to spend seven of his waking hours with someone else. It felt so wrong and I struggled with it for years. But now that I’m a little older, I can see how easy it would have been for me to have leaned too heavily on him for my own sense of well-being, had I not let him go. And of course, he’s really started to enjoy himself these last few years. I wouldn’t take that away from him for anything – from any of them. No, school is the best place for the boys, I made my peace with that a long time ago. It’s just hard on my mama’s heart to go from these carefree days of summer – days of playing board games and taking swim lessons and traveling – to the regimen of going to bed on time so we can get up on time so we can make it to school on time…and so on. I know I’m going to lose something next week. But I will just have to lean even more heavily on the grace of God to get me through each new day. His mercies are new every morning, after all!