Friday, August 10, 2018

New School Year

Ugh.....way too dark, but Caleb's first day as a Sophomore!

Top of the middle school food chain.  Connor and his buddy Ryan are new 8th graders.

One more year until high school!

Sixth grader!

Collin's buddy at the bus stop.

Top of the elementary school food chain.  New 4th grader!

This image brought me to tears.

For the last several weeks, I have dreamed of the first day of school.  These dreams flashed into my head when I eyed a kitchen sink stuffed with dirty dishes, a laundry hamper packed with stinky clothes, or a bathroom covered in grime.  The moments were the volume level bordered on deafening, I fantasized about my boys walking into school.  In my daydreams, the boys would exit into the confines of their classrooms while I would retreat back to a quiet oasis called home.  I would vacuum by myself.  I would fold laundry without interruption.  I would make lunch without someone eating off my plate or begging for something different.  I could almost taste and smell the serenity.

On Wednesday, the first day of school arrived for the boys.  I woke up with a smile; freedom was within my reach.  I ushered the boys through their morning routines with a spring in my step.  Collin's bus was slated to arrive at 7:15.  At 7:10, he slipped on shoes and yanked his backpack off the counter.  With Rosie in tow, Collin and I ambled down the driveway towards the bus stop.  By the time we arrived at the street, my expression changed.  

The weight of the day rolled me over.  This would be the last year for a Wood boy in elementary school.  I thought we'd never reach the end of our elementary school years.  For over a decade, at least one son roamed the elementary school halls and populated a classroom with miniature chairs, comfy reading nooks, and soft spoken teachers.

My heart hurt, deeply.

At that moment, the bus pulled up to our driveway.  Collin stood patiently waiting for the door to open.  Then, he stepped onto the bus without looking back.

I waved goodbye and headed back to the house with tears dripping down my cheeks.  It seems that time doesn't slow, but accelerates.  

Later that day, I texted my mother the picture of Collin waiting for the school bus.  She bounced back with the quote, "The days are long, but the years are short."  She ended the text with, "Take heart.  This is the way it's supposed to be, even if it brings some sadness."

Collin is supposed to grow up.  He's meant to fly the coop, spread his wings, hit the road.  And, I'm meant to loosen my grip and let him go, one step (and bus ride) at a time.

I'm grateful to usher him into the next phase in life.  He's ready, and I'm getting ready too.

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