This is where we are. Back to school, starting a new routine. And a completely different season. My need for Kleenex is growing larger by the day as we wait for the first day to begin. All at once I'm thrilled for the next and desperately trying to remember and relive the before.
Before their legs stretched long and they could read books to themselves. Before they could tie their own shoes and pack up their backpacks. Before they could eat me out of house and home in one meal.
Before ballet lessons and piano practice. Before now. And it's not like now is bad. I've actually felt like lately we've hit a sweet spot as a family.
But, in all honesty, I miss those days. The days when I thought I would pull my hair out over the temper tantrums. The days when I had to carry someone around, even though my back felt like it would break. The days when life flowed through a simple routine of play time and books read aloud and naps. Man, I miss naps. And snuggles on the couch and chubby legs running everywhere.
I get nostalgic over what once was. I wish I could have one more go round to bottle up their cute little baby selves. I know it was hard. I know I was exhausted. And now? It's still hard and I'm still exhausted. It's just a different kind of mothering, a whole different season.
Now we navigate the tricky aspects of girl friendships. Now I watch their limbs stretch long over ballet bars. Now I have them read to me. And I think that is one of the most beautiful sounds.
Now I am just incredibly proud of who they are becoming and so excited to see where they will go. They are my beautiful, the ones I am most grateful for in life. Not just because they are so very awesome (they are) but because God has used these three children of mine to teach me innumerable things about himself. Things I never would have learned any other way.
So Monday marks a new season, one like we've never gone through in our family. Excited? Yes. Tearful? Absolutely. But over it all, I am grateful.
We saw classrooms and met teachers today. And they all agreed that time travel would be the best thing ever, so Monday could come now. They want to use time travel to rocket forward to the next thing, I want to use it to go back, even for just one day.
And that's the thing of life, sometimes it's hard to be grateful for the season we are in because we get so caught up in living it. And when it's gone, we miss it desperately. I guess the lesson in it all is to be grateful for just where we are, and then take lots of pictures because we will miss it when it's gone.
So now I will go grab some Kleenex and steal a glimpse of them while they are sleeping. I will pray over them all, and in vain tell time to stop. Or at least slow down a whole lot. I will remember they all are works of beauty, great gifts to me.