My youngest child started seventh grade today. Her alarm woke her. She wore a brown skirt and black blouse she chose herself. She insisted that I put a purple streak in her blond hair. She rejected breakfast but accepted a Zone bar and a Jamwich for later. She packed up her school supplies in her backpack and waited for her carpool ride to pick her up.
I went back to bed.
I remember the old days when I bought packs of crayons and pink erasers and chose outfits for the first day and walked kids to their classrooms. This child–my youngest child–is so self sufficient she needs me only for rides and money. I’m not sure exactly how to feel about this so I choose to feel great. I did this! I created this self sufficient being.
(Only, she pretty much created herself. She’s had a mind of her own since she was three months old and decided that no one but Mommy would be allowed to hold her. Ever.)
My middle boy is a senior in high school.
The oldest boys are busily taking classes at community colleges nearby.
Do you remember how the days dragged along when you were a kid living at home, obeying your parents and following their rules and eating the dinners they provided? Now, that seems like a lifetime folded up and put into glove box, like some kind of weird shrinking universe that folds in upon itself.
I know that this stretch of time while the kids still live here and ask me what’s for dinner will be a hazy memory to them one day soon. It will no longer be everything, but just a paragraph in a life’s story. They are so eager to grow up and be gone. (Well, some of them are.)
Meanwhile, I have to figure out what to cook for dinner. I’m still trying to catch up on the laundry that piled up while my daughter and I were in the Pacific Northwest for a week. (A whirlwind of a trip!) I meant to brush the dog a few days ago, but can’t find her brush and for that reason, the dog fur tumbleweeds are worse than usual.