I took this picture this morning, early, really early for them. They look like sleepy criminals. At first I wished that I had taken a better one, had my son take off his hat, had Max change his shirt, had them move closer together, move Max away from that leaf on his head……but if I started to get nit picky, they would have gone back to bed, or left. This was my chance. I figure it will be a hoot to look at in ten years when they are a little more awake and pulled together. We can only hope….. Today, this was it.
After this picture, I drove my son back to school to start his sophomore year of college. He’s studying electrical engineering, computer science, German, and whatever else goes with all of that, so he can create the life he wants. You have no idea how momentous just saying that is to me.
Son#2 started his senior year of high school this week. He’s finding his groove painting, skateboarding, looking forward to snowboard season and “chillin’ hard”. That’s one of the hats he just painted. Time marches on.
Between the first picture and the second was a whole lot of life. There were many many bumps, and lot of stuff I’d rather not think about. This little family has been through it, that’s for sure. But that’s okay. We have it pretty awesome now.
One of my greatest pleasures is simply a day like today; getting up, taking my son back to college, being around the excitement of other families moving the students back, getting some things done for him, going to lunch, dropping him off, embarrassing him a little by being the mom who brought the bath mat, coming home….normal stuff. Normal is awesome. I do not take normal for granted – ever. I love days like today.
A friend gave me a book last year, “The Gift of an Ordinary Day”, by Katrina Kenison. I cried every time I opened it. “The Gift of an Ordinary Day is an intimate memoir of a family in transition-boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up…” That pretty much described my life.
The book began with the author describing her boys at 6 and 9 years old, and I began to cry. I miss my babies at that age, their little bodies…So sweet. I cried every time I opened it. My boys would walk in the door, see tears running down my face and ask, “Have you been reading that book again?” I finished it and I felt better. I love good cries. I got the sadness of my boy leaving out of my system and began to get excited about his new life. It’s a transition and it’s normal to feel sad. I imagine it makes the kids feel good knowing their departure is a sad thing for their parent. They are very loved and will be missed.
Looking at pictures like the one at the top makes me sad at times. I thought their childhood would go on forever. It sure felt like it…. That old cliche’ about it going so fast, doesn’t feel so fast when you are in the thick of it. It feels like you have a highway of years stretched out before you, and all you want is a full night’s sleep. All of a sudden, it’s almost over. Then you look back and wish you could have a rewind to savor it, be better, do better, do different…..At least I do. So much was going on, I feel I missed out on too much, wasn’t paying enough attention. But, I only have now. I know now, it’s all fast. I pay attention. I know in ten years, I’ll look back at the picture I took this morning and know I was “there”, I was paying attention, I was doing my best, and they had my best. Ordinary days are gifts, and I’m grateful for every one of them. Mostly. : )