Farewell. Alleluia.

kids porch June 2016

Monday evening, June 6 – not the classic both-in-white photo, because they didn’t have the same last day.

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June 4, 2015, their last last day together until high school

Today, we’re out of school.  Actually yesterday was Grace’s last day, and today is Whit’s.  It is the first year in a great many that they haven’t had the same last day of school.  Yesterday I spent some time wandering down memory lane, falling headfirst into the tunnel of nostalgia where I spend too much of my time.  This 2012 post has many years of photos.  And that was already four years ago.  I can feel time whistling by my ears, I really can. A tired cliche. And an outrageously deep truth.

I don’t have a fifth grader and a seventh grader anymore.  This year is over, finished, a door is closed.

Farewell.

And, also, allelulia: summer!  tennis! ice cream! camp! sleeping in! reading books!  There is so much to celebrate and I love summer.  We consciously under-schedule our summer and make very few commitments (other than sleepaway camp, which both kids go to and love), and as a result there are long empty days and evenings on the porch with family.  I can’t wait.

But I also feel sad at what’s over.  Farewell and alleluia coexist for me in inextricable ways.  This year, with its particular drop-off routines and rhythms, was a good one.  Just yesterday morning, Grace, Whit, Matt and I were having breakfast in the kitchen.  Grace yawned before complimenting the fried egg I’d made her while trashing the one her father had made her a few days before.  We all laughed but then I said, “just wait, guys, you’ll miss these mornings, all four of us in the kitchen.”  I poured myself another cup of coffee and explained that it wouldn’t be long until they would be homesick – at least a little – for this particular morning, drooping peonies on the island, a friend egg and Life cereal for Grace and a waffle and some yogurt for Whit.

The thing is, I already am.  I am nostalgic for yesterday.

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The first last day they shared, June 9, 2010

This photo makes me physically ache.  Now they’re tall and lanky – Grace is within an inch of my height – and becoming the people they are.  Not that they always weren’t – in fact one of my primary learnings about parenthood is the way they are who they are from the minute they arrive – but they are young people now.  Childhood itself is in Grace’s rearview mirror, and it’s soon going to be there for Whit, too.

Farewell.

They are smart, and funny, and wise beyond their years.  They are sometimes also moody and irritable, and they leave dirty socks around the house and forgot where they put their water bottles.  But they are the light of my life, no question about it, and I love who they are more every single day.

Alleluia.


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9 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    “I am nostalgic for yesterday.” I uttered nearly those exact words earlier this week. A million times yes to missing it all as soon as it passes but loving every minute just the same. Wishing you a wonderful summer with those gorgeous big kids of yours! xox

    admin Reply:

    We will try!! xoxo

  2. Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you for reminding me to document both beginnings and endings – somehow I often forget the latter. After reading this post my four and a half year old son woke up. He calls for me still. I go to him still, and scoop him up, savoring his heavy warmth, his lengthening limbs and sweaty tossled hair, and I breathed him in even more deeply. I am nostalgic for his chubby always grinning two year old self, for my daughter’s kindergarten year (she’s finishing second grade soon). So much bittersweetness some days I feel as though I may drown (or maybe swim is a better verb) in it.

    admin Reply:

    Drowning and swimming in the bittersweetness – yes. I often feel like I do both – the former, more commonly and the latter, by necessity and surprise. xoxo

  3. Amy
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Your words paint such a vibrant image. I can so relate to the nostalgia. I can hardly believe my boys are turning 3 and 2…..

    admin Reply:

    Me neither, actually! I feel like they were just born! xo

  4. Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I feel nostalgic for this morning. Or even an hour ago. With both kids in school, and different schools, this year it’s all hitting me hard how fast it all goes. But I’m enjoying it all so much more now too, as if nostalgia and joy are, as you say, two sides of the same coin. Happy summer to you all <3

    admin Reply:

    Indeed they are, at least as far as I’m concerned. xox

  5. Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    As always, Lindsey, you have such a way of capturing feelings as they co-exist. And oh! that picture of Grace and Whit from 2010 left a lump in my throat. My kids aren’t even that big yet, and still I can already imagine their similar picture in my rear view. Thank you for helping us to appreciate the small and sometimes unheralded moments of the days as they pass. Happy summer! xoxo

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much for saying this. I’m trying to do that myself – appreciate the small and unheralded moments – and if I’m able to help another do so, even better. xox

  6. Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Your blog constantly reminds me to pay attention – I love how you mark the small moments. Also, I read that line about the four of you in the kitchen and thought about MY childhood mornings – sitting at the table with my sister, mom and dad. Our foursome reminds me of yours in some ways, and while we all still love each other fiercely, sometimes I do miss those days. xo

    admin Reply:

    I’m so glad to know that you can relate – and I am happy to know that you still love each other fiercely. That’s all I hope for! xox

  7. Kathie
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this reminder to appreciate those little in-between moments, the ones that seem trivial but really do count, like getting ice cream after baseball practice, when I am tired and just want to go home, but then I’m so grateful that we did. I, for one, am thrilled that it’s time to say farewell to this school year, as it has been a challenging one. But there were definitely good moments, so thank you for the reminder that I need to pick out those good moments and remember them above the rest. xo

    admin Reply:

    I’m trying to do the same. I know we have had similar years – here’s to camp! xox

  8. Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    We’re a few years down the road from you — but how I love the days when all four of us (4/4 Martins as my son says) are at the table. And how I miss it every single day. Hold them close, as I know you do. xox

  9. Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    End of year hits me too. They (the school) crams so much in that I end up wishing the last few weeks away. And then it’s done. Those grades are no more. They seem so much older.