Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Today has been difficult.

Not for them, they were filled with that nervous excitement that goes with the first day of school. The two little ones were pure joy, while the oldest of the bunch shared a rare glimpse of worry. Would he get into his locker? What should he take to each class? Where would he meet his teammates for the game? By next week, this will all be easy, but today we shared our nervous excitement.

Like always, we brought out the chalkboard for each to write their name and grade. Taking care to write their name neatly, I hope they can feel the tradition and the history of the small board, worn smooth by so many hands. Theirs and many more before them.

Donning new shoes and something special to wear, they picked up their back packs and headed out into the world. Gavin is in 7th grade this year and growing taller and wiser by the moment. The wisdom is often genuine, only sometimes invented for someone's benefit. He's not a little boy anymore. He's tall and strong and has his own ideas. He is sweet and kind (but not too kind) and ready to have great fun. I think he'll do great things along the way, but there is no sense telling a 12 year old such foolishness.

Benett is in 2nd grade. He is such a practical little person. He wants so much to be autonomous, to do his own thing. I want to let him and hold him back all at the same time. Autumn and the first day of school is like that for me. I want them to go on and up, but I don't. I want them to stay like they are, because they're just perfect.

Benett's whit and personality is so much fun. So innocent but sharp and dry and perfectly hilarious. I hope people continue gravitate towards him for those reasons.

And then there is Ellie. She is never too far behind Benett. I suppose that has been true from the very start. Close in proximity, but never the same she is her own person. I love her joy and spirit. She makes my heart happy.

She will be just fine, but I think I worry most about her. Maybe it's because she's the youngest... maybe it's because she's my little girl... maybe it's because she is so trusting and wants to take care of everyone else. She told me last year that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. I think she would make an excellent one.

I hope all of them let their dreams take them as far as they can imagine. And that's the difficult thing about being a parent. We prepare them to go off and do these great things, all the while waiting and wishing for just a few more moments with them.

So as difficult as it is today, we sent them off. Their hearts full and their minds ready to learn, hoping to get them back having given as much love as they received.

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