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