My office is a wreck. I have piles of papers stacked up all around me. I swear that it only started as a few items of unopened mail that suddenly mated and are having paper babies like rabbits. Now my office is an explosion of clutter. I hate clutter. I don’t work well in it. If there is more than a sheet of paper on my desk I walk past and think “nah, I won’t write today.” Today I decided I needed to tackle the clutter but it is multiplying while I hastily write what happened as I picked up the top package from the first pile.
I have never been one to be extra sentimental about my kids starting school. Rather than crying, I get excited for them. Each new year comes with joys and triumphs some tears and fears but every moment is a small step toward who they are becoming. They are becoming adults right before my eyes and it’s thrilling.
I open the packet from school already knowing most of the information, I am tempted to throw it in the garbage. However, I am not one to toss things without reading first, so I carefully open the package. I read, I toss, and this goes on for a few pages. Then I come across the page that gives all the dates for the school year. As I do every year, I open my computer and start adding all of the important dates into my calendar. I turn the page and there it is… May 20th GRADUATION written in giant bold letters alerting me that this is the end. In all honesty it was not in bold but when I ran across that word all other words disappeared. For the first time in the history of school I have that tightness in my chest signaling that this year is the end.
We have sacrificed so many things in order to give our kids the best possible schooling and childhood. We ate ramen when we didn’t want to. We took local vacations in order to keep costs in check. We drove cars that embarrassed the kids when we picked them up from school. We wore the same clothes in or out of season in order to dress them well. Basically, we are parents who like all parents, put their needs on the back burner because there is no greater gift than seeing your kids light up with excitement over a new pair of shoes.
I am glimpsing into the future that’s ahead of me. It’s the one where Daniel and I take vacation overseas, wander around new cities, and explore our own city, all the while doing this without our girls. The dream of traveling is nearing the time of fruition but in order to gain this thing we’ve dreamed of since the moment we were together, we lose the other 2 people in our family who have always been beside us. The girls are growing into their own new and exciting lives. They will be opening the door on their dreams and stepping into their future without us.
It’s hard to imagine what next year will be like. For the last five years I have been able to work from home. Daniel would take care of morning drop offs at the bus stop and I would casually wake up around 8:15. But always at 7:15 Corinne would creep into my room, give me a hug, and tell me she loves me. She did that this morning, right on time like clockwork.
Kaija and I have a routine too. She wakes up and gets started on her school work and then we head off to Starbucks at 9:30. We chat the whole way there and back. Over the last couple of years with her being homeschooled I have really gotten to know her as a person and not just my kid. I have loved all of this time I’ve had to be a mom but the sun is setting on this time.This is the beginning of the end of an era.
What will happen when they are both racing off to college classes every morning? What will the routines be then?
What I know is that no matter what the world throws at them they are ready. We have raised 2 of the most beautiful, caring, fun-loving, kind hearted, sassy, opinionated, loyal girls that I know. When May 20th rolls around and the cap flies in the air we will close the book on their childhood because that cap is the last page. The End. They will each get to start a new book of the beginning of their lives. I won’t be a starring roll anymore but I will always and forever be there with them.