Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Firsts, Roots & Wings

As I have read posts about school starting again this year,
young Mommies not wanting to see their little ones
going off to the classroom,
and others being thankful to get back into the routine
of the school year,
my mind went back
to those first days of school
for my children.

It was back in the days when our Christian Day school
was full of kids, so much so that we even had a school bus.
For all of their school years, we either met the school bus or van
at 8th & near Washington Street.
That very first day her daddy took her to the bus stop & I took my turn
in the afternoon to pick her up.
I was surprised when the bus went flying by without even slowing down
at our stop...& no signs of my little Karen!
I waited & waited...(it being long before the days of the cell phone!)
& finally drove to the school, to find her happily playing in the hallway.
She just assumed I would pick her up at the school!
I learned that day to be more specific in my instructions.
And so for the next 14 years
it was my routine to hop in the car every afternoon to wait for that bus.
So much so that for several years afterwards,
I would find myself thinking about 2:15...
that there was somewhere I needed to go.
I missed her those first days of Kindergarten.
But I had a little shadow that followed me around the house
like a lost little puppy.
Jeff was my quiet one.
And he wanted to be close by me.
So as I sewed (probably school jumpers!)
or did some cooking or baking,
Jeff would have his cars and trucks,
playing just a few feet away.

Two years later it was Jeff's turn to have his first day of school.
He was four.
If I had it to do over, I would have kept him home with me one more year.
His birthday isn't until the end of November
but our church school said he could come to Kindergarten early.
With their accelerated program, he completed all of his work a year early,
making him only 16 when he graduated, and that was way too young.
Now my grandchildren are having their first days of school.
I see them growing up so quickly, changing each year.
Those first days are bittersweet for mommies & grandmas.
We can't hold them back...life goes on.
But sometimes it is refreshing to have a little breathing space of your own-
a few hours to yourself where you can do your house work-
or maybe work in a quick lunch with a girfriend.
I have a little framed, stitched quote at my kitchen sink.
I read it often as I clean up the dinner dishes.
It says...
"There are two things you can give your children-
& Wings!"
I think I have given my children & grandchildren both.
I want them to have the family roots that causes them to
know that we are always here for them.
And I want them to go their own way..
to give them their wings!
But some days I find myself wanting to draw them all back home
& gather them under my wings.
They come for a while & then they go to their own nests...
making roots for their own little families.
And it makes me happy that for a few minutes
they let this old mother hen ruffle her feathers!


Karen Walden said...

Oh my... those are some lovely photos!!! ;o) I don't remember hearing that story of how I didn't ride the bus home!!!

Sheila said...

You have just forgotten. Seems like you & Amy Spear were running around in the hallway. They wondered why I was so late coming to pick you up. Guess we didn't tell you that you had to ride the bus home too!