Monday, August 20, 2007

The Expression

I'm learning more about myself as a mother, surprise, surprise. As my daughter entered 3rd grade I was a little hesitant as she would encounter new teachers, new students and new challenges again this year. I have been sighing against change and transition for months, and somehow back to school was another reminder of change. To my surprise this isn't your typical child or experience and the questions of "how do you think my day will be" quickly faded to falling into routine. She began telling me about her bus ride, her new teacher, their shared favorite memory verse, her old friends, her new friends and the joy of gym. Gone was the fear of transition we experienced last year, 30 minutes after school was over she was back to talking about other things. She's grown.

So I start wondering about my little guy. Kindergarten starts in a few days and I was planning for his big transition too. His conversation isn't one of fear and hesitation, he's telling me who he's going to see in his new class, what he wants to do with his friends, and how he can't wait to start. I see a trend happening. When I carried my camera this morning, I was in a declining number of mothers taking scrapbook photographs, and no doubt...I made a spectacle of my one opportunity to memorialize the first day. The discussion about their clothing choice seems higher on the list of priorities than anything else.

My little guy is just 3 and has been climbing into the bed lately. He's not a gentle sleeper and I really hate that habit. Truth is, I haven't been making him go back to the bed because I see the writing on the wall. Looks like I've entered as many "lasts" as I have firsts....and I doubt there will be a little dimpled grin pleading with me for covers and snuggles much longer. The world hasn't stopped changing, we're all just handling it a bit better.

Today started shortly before six and it hasn't slowed down all day. From clients to connection, children to extracurricular, homemade dinner to cleaning...the race has been done. And the way I express my frustration with the schedule is to fuss about change, when the expression on each kidlet face tells me I need to adjust. They are so grounded, so resilient, so steady - they are learning to take it in stride. I'm learning as a mother too, when you set the tone for the house, you have to take it in stride too. The expression in this photo says it all - in all of my melancholy and reflection...when you raise good kids, the writing is on the wall. No doubt in the coming weeks, months, days, hours...we'll have some rocky times. Who doesn't.

Looks like this will be a year of defensive driving. Whatever life throws at us we'll just settle in and take it in with an expression of resolve, we're survivors over here. The first day of school ritual will no longer be a deep breath and a wait and see - looks like we're growing. Growing up.


Eva Essex said...

Such a precious little face. I love that you share your thoughts, and I truly enjoy reading your stories. The pictures you share of you and your family are priceless. Seeing these pictures allow me to feel as though I am still in touch with my Indiana family until I have the opportunity to enjoy being in your presence. Thanks for sharing!
Your Michigan family misses you very much!

Keep those pictures coming.
Ms. Eva

bliss said...

wow mommy. this one is bittersweet. i used to think every age was the hardest then i realized how easy it was after the time has gone. LOL

and now you've made me miss the days when i kissed baby bliss g'bye, mr. bliss drove her off to school, and i had the house to myself for a few hours. '-)