And just like that summer is over. It feels like just a minute ago I was shoving backpacks out of the way and looking forward to summer vacation. It feels like we were just finding peace in the “which middle school will she attend” debate. And yet somehow, at 6:30 this morning, under the glow of our street light, my sweet first born baby climbed onto the middle school bus. How did this happen so quickly?
For the first time since kindergarten, she had to go to school alone. No little brother (who honestly stands eye-to-eye with her now…little brother will only be a chronological indicator going forward) to walk with onto the bus. No baby sisters to run into in the hallway or hug on the playground. This feels sudden.
At 5:15 this morning she walked into the basement dressed for her first day of school. I was finishing up a workout and not planning on waking her for at least 25 minutes. But there she was. Ready. Her bag was packed. Her schedule was memorized. She was saying all the right, confident things that we say as we start something new. And I was doing okay. But I’ll tell you the moment that got me. When Lucas came down the stairs this morning, up much earlier than necessary, and wrapped his arms around his sister and leaned his head towards hers and whispered “you are going to do great” my heart clenched in my chest. These babies who I had held close to me and watched grow have become their own wonderful selves. Their love for each other and their relationships are theirs. But, oh it stops me in my tracks still sometimes.
I am not worried for their school days. I know they go to good schools and have great teachers. I know they will see familiar faces and make new friends like they have every year before. And I know the clock will keep ticking, and they will keep growing up. But for a moment today, as my house sits quiet as my youngest takes a much needed nap and the four oldest finish up their first days of the school year, I am hearing all the voices of every parent who has ever looked into my eyes and said “it goes so quickly.” And I know it’s true. The days may feel long…but the years are so short.
I can’t promise to always cherish every moment (that’s crazy…some moments are awful), but I will try to always remember how precious these moments are.