Thursday, August 29, 2013

Steady Pull

My father always used to say the amazing thing about the change in seasons in New England is that it always feels as if someone has flipped a switch. Seemingly overnight, summer fades and the first peek at fall begins. This past weekend, we went to our favorite little breakfast spot. There, we literally had our first bite of fall. They were serving up Apple Cider Donuts which, if you’ve never had one, might just be the greatest thing on earth. It was cake-y and left our fingers and lips sugary. With every bite I could feel summer getting farther away. On the drive home, we started to notice trees that had inexplicably already started to turn colors and leaves that had started to drop. At night we lit our last three sparklers, left over from July, and spent a few extra minutes on the swing set. When we put the kids to bed, it was already dark. When had that earlier sunset crept up on us?

The momentum was gathering, a long lazy summer of PJs and hours in the backyard and swimming pools and popsicles was coming to a close. I have mostly loved this long unstructured time with them. But I know they are ready and hungry for more. Dylan started counting down the days till Kindergarten last week. I guess Camp Mommy, with all of its promise at the beginning of summer, must really be sucking by now. I mean truly, how many times can you watch the Mission Marvel episode of Phineas and Ferb and call it educational?
At any rate, they are both ready for school to begin. I had visions of what each of their first days would be like. I would carefully pick out first day outfits and dress them like someone else’s children, all neat and finely pressed. There would be lots of pictures at Dylan’s bus stop and I would sob uncontrollably as the bus pulled away. We would lovingly settle Ruby into her preschool room as a family. And I guess it went something like that. If by something like that I mean nothing like that at all.

Dylan woke up and was completely dressed in his favorite mostly wrinkled mostly clean Ninjago shirt, teeth brushed with shoes and back pack on by 6:45AM. At 8AM even though we explained the bus wouldn’t be there for another 15 minutes, Dylan could no longer be contained. So we all went outside to wait for the big moment as a family. Phil brought the video camera. I had the still camera. We would use the extra time to capture this moment of sending our first born off to school, for posterity.
But because life is not a fan of plans, the bus arrived 15 minutes earlier than expected. We did a light jog so as to not miss it (which ps most of our neighbors did). There were no pictures and I don’t think I even said goodbye to him. The doors closed and just like that he was gone. My baby. My first born. Off on some school bus version of Speed. There was no time for mommy tears which I guess was probably a good thing and I said a silent prayer for his safe arrival at a school literally 1.1 miles away. Then we turned our attention to Ruby. I got off a couple of pictures of her but the classroom was already bustling by the time we showed up. Phil kept yelling at me to leave because I was hovering too much and just like that, Ruby was launched in her new room. Two babes – a new school year. And off we go.

As I pulled out of the preschool parking lot on this gray morning of stumbles and starts, a Jonatha Brooke song that I hadn't heard in way too long played on, singing of the danger in complacency and the steady pull of things unseen. Time is passing and the seasons seem to be turning a bit more quickly. They seem to be growing a bit faster than I’d like, and the more steady and constant I feel the pull of stuff I can’t touch or manage, yet somehow that feels right. A bit uneasy, but right.

5 comments:

  1. Oh do I know how you feel. For some reason when my son turned 8 a few weeks ago it slammed into my chest. The time is passing... I can't stop it, I don't really want to, but I can't get it back either. Beautiful post...

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    1. Yes, that's it exactly Jen. It's passing - can't stop it, but don't want to, but can't get it back. You totally get it!

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  2. So sorry you missed the photos but maybe it was a blessing in disguise because then you didn't have to be sad about it. Are they loving school?

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    1. Yes, definitely a blessing in disguise! We ripped that bandaid right off. So far so good - favorite parts are rest time and recess - winning!

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  3. ...and it doesn't help when your best laid plans are forgone (all of ours were on "first day" morning as well), and everyone else SEEMS to be fulfilling theirs. When I brought my gal in for first day (having forgotten to take a pic) and saw you and Phil BOTH there for drop-off, all I could think was, "Crap. Now there's a coordinated family making a special first day! I really hope Jenn posts about some mishap they had that morning." Ta-da! And with this post, my mommy-guilt is alleviated. ;) Too fast is right, but we just have to hold tight to those fleeting moments and squeeze every ounce of joy out of them before they're gone!

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