Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the Morning Light

River and Maya are so excited for school everyday now! They bound from bed, get dressed and do their morning chores with ease. We laugh and joke as they gobble down breakfast...sometimes having enough time to squeeze in a silly dance to one of their c.d.'s we have been listening to. We talk about our hopes for the day and sometimes, as I am quietly sipping my coffee in the kitchen and packing lunches, I am blessed to overhear their conversations with each other. So grown up now but still full of giggles... talking about the dreams they had or friends...oh my babies are babies no more.
We pile in the car after admiring a spider on a web glistening in the morning light or whatever other magic has occurred outside as we were sleeping..a new flower on the hibiscus or a chipmunk on the patio.... Heading to school we sing songs, teach each other things we have learned, have really important conversations or practice spelling words or math questions. The sun shines so brightly at this time of morning reaching through the forest and kissing the earth with great force. They often ask me to drive slowly on State Park Rd. so they can take it all in.
As we pull up to school, we say our goodbyes and tell each other to "have the best day ever!" The kids gather up their backpacks and lunchboxes and give me a quick kiss and hug over the seat (sometimes asking me to get out of the car right in the carpool lane!) and they run into the school, an image forever burned in my mind. Half running/half skipping..Adjusting backpacks as they go. And they are off to the big kid world not needing me for another six hours.. It’s bittersweet, this time of day. The joy of morning is daily followed by the sting of a tear in my eye and an ache in my heart as I pull away from the doors. I wave to other parents who are undoubtedly feeling the same emotions at times. I want to holler out, "Wait! There goes my heart! Be careful with them, for they are my insides, my joy! Love them as I would..please! Be gentle with them as you teach them new things...they are still my babies! Praise them and remind them of how brilliant & loved they are!" But growing up is inevitable and I must learn to walk now with my insides turned out...with no baby on my faces to hands to hold.. I feel lost.
After those six long hours, I enter the school to retrieve the children whose universe I once was. They run and leap into my arms greeting me with hugs and kisses and a great big "MAMA!!!" and I know my world is complete. I hold their hands, my heart full again and try to fill in all the cracks we have missed throughout the day.
Who knew school would be harder for me then it is for them?

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