Tonight, as I enjoy the chill of the conditioned air in our room, there are a thousand and one thoughts swirling through my mind. The start of another school year is on the horizon along with so many other possible changes. It seems strange to think that at this time last year, I was preparing for my year-long sabbatical, and here it is time to return to the classroom.
Looking back on the year I had at home, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are so many more things I wish I would have done, and yet, there are so many moments I am beyond grateful for. I wish I would’ve written more, but I figured there’s no better time to start than now.
So today, I want to remember the smell of our clean summer skin and the sweet flavor of the ice cream on my tongue as we piled into our bed to watch Mary Poppins last night. I want to recall the heaviness of their growing bodies as they fidgeted and squirmed throughout the show. I sat mesmerized as Seneca danced, twirled and spun her way around our room offering her best British accent among head flips and wrist snaps. I imagine watching her perform someday on stage after hours of ballet, or jazz rehearsal. Or seeing her triumph over a mastered gymnastics routine. In her six-year-old self, I can see the hint of the amazing young lady to come.
And Calder – he continues to amaze me. The speed at which his mind is constantly whirring is beyond belief. This summer he wanted to make a mechanical hand – we have yet to tackle that project, but I hope to foster his creativity and ingenuity. Ever the problem solver, he has an answer at the ready for most questions. A natural joker and newfound prankster, I pray for the patience to encourage his sense of humor and not the snappish frustration that I tend to fall into easily. I want to hold close moments like yesterday, when I grabbed his hand and ran toward the 3-legged race at our church’s community fun fest. Eager, and likely shocked at my spontaneity, he grinned as we stepped into the itchy burlap sack. Arms wrapped around one another, we took a few practice steps. We figured out that saying “Inside, Outside” would help keep us moving the correct leg, and from repeating the faceplant he experienced in the earlier sack race. The announcer put us at the ready, and we were off. “Inside! Outside! Inside! Outside!” We were cruising, and lengthening our stride with each step. At the finish line, we were edged out of first place, but it hardly mattered. For those 25 feet, we were a team. Together, we moved step-by-step and it was amazing! He beamed. And we wore our plastic 2nd place medals with pride.
No matter how busy life gets or how often they bicker, I’m so grateful for these little things that remind me just how fleeting these years really are, and how much I desperately want to savor as much of them as possible.