OK, I'm not trying to depress anyone here, just calling it like it is...
Well, here I sit on the last day of my kid’s summer vacation. It’s a day I don’t adore; a day I don’t look forward to, a day I wish would never come. It signifies that another year of adventure and growth has come and gone and a new one is about to start. Not that I don’t look forward to new adventure and growth, I do, I’m just never ready for my kids to “grow up” to that next grade level.
Think about it, kids grow up at the end of summers. They go from old 4th graders to new 5th graders. From Jr. High kids to high-school students, from their bedrooms to their college dorm rooms; it all happens at the end of August. This year is no different and I’m not ready.
When I look at my kid’s pictures, I notice that they aren’t frozen moments taken in early January, with the start of a new calendar year; they are taken in early September with the start of a new school year. I notice the differences in their face shapes and sideways grins and wonder how I missed those subtleties that must have occurred right in front of me. Although I’m excited for my children – new friends, new rules, new academic challenges; I’m sad, just a little, for myself. I think back on the events of the last year and realize that I don’t really remember all that much. I make a mental note to take more pictures, say “yes” more often, give hugs and kisses generously (I think I do this pretty well), and pay attention to everything that happens in the next crazy year.
I really should be prepared for this day; each year, there are tell-tale signs that the end of August is nearing. Back-to-School supply areas begin popping up in stores. Kids become anxious about whether they’ll get a top or bottom locker (most like top, by the way). They compare who has what teacher and start requesting specific notebook themes and colors. They may ask questions about whether they should try out for clubs and sports, or hope out-loud that certain kids are in their classes. They may worry that their clothes aren’t cute enough, their hair isn’t long enough, or their jeans aren’t tight enough. They may decide they are ready to wear make-up or request an Oakley backpack. They may let you know that they will be taking their lunch in a brown paper bag – no more lunch-box, or that they will be buying their lunch this year. They may want to carry a purse, or request to take their i-touch on the bus. They may want you to drive them to school so they don’t have to take the bus at all. Your kids might want to stay up later at night, now that they are in an older grade. They might feel the need to have their own yahoo account or their own car. The list could go on and on…children continue to grow and mature and you continue to wonder how they got there so fast.
So as I sit here on the last day of my kids’ summer vacation, I relish the fact that I am still needed. I have shoes to buy, backpacks to locate and schedules to plan. Before I get started on those tasks, however, I am putting a new memory stick in my camera, so I’m prepared for all those changes my kids are about to make.