October 8, 2012

In A Blink of an Eye - Sad Simplicity


While I was driving this morning a snippet of a conversation replayed in my mind.

Me to kids: “You don’t have school on Friday. Well, she doesn’t.” I nod to daughter.
Son (freshman in high school): “Whhaat?”
Daughter (eighth grade): “Ha ha ha.”
Me to son: “Don’t worry, there will be days you have off and she’s in school.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to keep track of multiple school schedules, events, concerts, etc. As a matter of fact, I’ve had kids in multiple schools for at least a decade! But it hit me this morning, after chuckling about the exchange, that this is the last year I will have to keep track of multiple school schedules. Tears sprang forward when the truth struck.

Next year my youngest will enter high school. She will graduate only one year after her brother and then my husband and I will be finished with the school aged years of parenting. I know I’m not done yet, but already it’s significantly easier than it has been in the past. Heck, one school year all four of my kids were in a different school. A logistical nightmare when the school bell rang at the end of the day. Now we are left with only two kids in public school, they have the same start time and end time and most of the days off are the same.

Fifteen years ago my husband and I took our oldest to her first day of Kindergarten. She was only four, yet she strolled in like she owned the place. When we asked if she wanted us to stay for a while she said, “No. Bye!” Just a blink of an eye and I’m ¾ of the way through the twenty years of the public education of my children. I’m teary over the fact that next year I won’t have to think any harder than one school schedule.

We have so little time with our kids. Take full advantage of having them around. Read to them, with them and in front of them. Read in the living room, cuddled on their bed, lying under the clouds in the park. Tell stories, listen to stories and share stories. Those precious moments of magic and escape are so limited.

Just a blink of an eye and I’m facing the final stretch. I’ll never get it back again. I’m so thankful to have lots of wonderful memories to hark back on; telling progressive stories around the crackling fire in the family room where the boys inevitably ended them with “and everybody died. The End”, lying on the bed next to my daughter reading Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? and her giggles at all the funny noises, my youngest being struck by the villain’s downfall in a particular story so much that she was inspired to act it out again and again. These are memories that they probably wouldn’t recall, but each one knits together in my head to create a sort of memory shawl that I can wrap around me and keep me warm and happy when I need it most.

Just a blink of an eye and my life is one step closer to a sad sort of simplicity.

Before you blink, jot those favorite moments down. Capture them somehow. Sooner than you’d think, you’ll be forced to page through your Jot Journal, because the kids will be grown and gone. I’m not there yet, but the pace at which it’s approaching blows me away and I’m jotting like crazy.


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