I’m sitting on our back deck right now. A chorus of birds are singing their morning wake-up song that competes with Patty Griffin’s voice streaming from my phone that competes with my three little people who are entertaining themselves just inside the house. Meadow’s sing song-y voice is the loudest among the three. Her happy voice is always the loudest. The sun is just cresting over the hill behind our house and I can see dew sparkling on the grass and leaves, creating an almost magical feel in our backyard.
Chanelle stands at the screen door every 90 seconds and asks ‘are you ready yet, Mommy?’. She’s waiting (not so patiently) to play Skip.Bo–a game we’ve played almost every day this summer. The game is important to me–the time Chanelle and I spend putting cards, one by one, on the table in front of us, is important to me.
But this is important, too. This stopping. Pausing. Reflecting. This is important, too.
Summer has come to a close. As soon as the calendar turns from July to August the lump begins to form in my throat. I swallow it back, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much.
My mind knows that “it’s time”. That we’ve had a wonderful summer and that the time has come for my little people to fill their brains with all the important things that will turn them into functioning adults, but it takes my heart just a little longer to catch up.
I wrote the above section a week ago. Chanelle’s persistence won the battle. I put the blog aside and sat across from my middle daughter while she beat me (again) in a card game that had become our summer morning routine. Now, a week has passed and time does what time does. I’m sitting on our back deck again, although this time I’m surrounded by darkness. The sun is still nestled below the horizon and the birds are just barely beginning their songs that will very shortly drown out the sounds of the crickets chirps that are currently echoing through the air.
I’ve woken earlier this morning, racing my writing against the rising of blonde bed heads that will shortly emerge.
I’ve learned a few things about myself over the years. Things like, I have almost zero fashion sense. Truly, I typically run about 5 years behind all the trends. I’ve also learned that I’ll never be the super cool mom who lets her kids bedrooms be however her kids want them. (i.e. messy.) I really wanted to be her–the mom who says, it’s your room, I don’t care if it’s a mess. I’m just not her. (I’m collecting therapy funds for my kids to deal with this fact some day.) I’ve also learned that I like avocados. I struggle saying some “r”‘s (like in the word rural). And I’ve also learned that the that the passage of time is something of which I’m always acutely aware.
That’s why Chanelle won the battle last week. Because while I’m sitting writing a blog I see the years that have passed between when they placed her in my arms on that very first day and the beautiful young lady she is today. When I watch them step up onto a big yellow bus, I see cars packed for college. Especially in times of transition, I feel every second that has passed and my heart races to catch up with what my eyes are seeing.
I’ve accepted this fact about myself but I won’t lie–sometimes I wish I didn’t feel it all so much. But I do. I feel it all. The passage of time. The speed of it all. I feel it deep in my bones–I feel the constant changes that come with time.
It’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful and all I know to do is to feel it.
You see, I see you mama’s who are sending your kids off to college and I wonder how you do it. I see you father’s who hand your daughters, dressed in white, over to join her life with another man and my breath catches in my throat. I see all those moments and while my little ones are still so little, I know enough to know that those days are just around the corner for us. And while some might balk at the mess of feelings I experience when I see that big yellow bus drive up the road, the only way I know through it, is to feel it.
And so I blog. I document. I record our story to take with me for all of my days. I come here and say it all because saying it, somehow, makes it all make sense. Saying it, outloud, somehow creates a space where I can breathe deep with a quiet knowing that it’s all going exactly as it should.
This week I heard these words spoken Rob Bell, If it’s important to you, it’s important.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget these words. The perspective they give. The permission they give for each of us to live out our stories. To authentically feel what we feel. To feel what I feel.
Time marches on in this beautifully, messy, lovely, achy way and I am filled with gratitude for this life and these people who fill my life with meaning. And sometimes those emotions wash over me with the strength of powerful hurricane waves. I felt them as I watched them climb the steps onto the bus this week. I felt them as watched Meadow say good-bye to her siblings this week. I feel them as I see the Skip-Bo card game that sits untouched among the chaos of school and soccer practice and homework and the routine that forms as we adjust to school life again.
I let it all wash over me and I emerge on the other side celebrating little ones who come home with smiles on their faces and stories of a day well spent at school. I celebrate the passage of time knowing that this is what we’ve been preparing for. I celebrate knowing that to deprive them of experiencing life away from me would only harm them. I celebrate this knowing that these little people who wrecked my heart at birth are beautiful souls who I will be privileged to know for the rest of my life.
I celebrate knowing, that these little people have made me better.
Some clips from our summer. . .
Creek adventures. . .
Water fun. . .
Critters. . .
Quiet moments. .
Louder moments. . .
And moments in between. . .
Here’s to making more memories and feeling all the feelings that come with the passage of time. . .
If it’s important to you, it’s important.