Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's complicated, this letting go...of your children

The golden shimmer of my son's hair is blinding in the sunshine; my daughter's touched with butterscotch tones. The summer light has bathed their skin in cafe au lait.

As we drift rapidly toward the start of school on Tuesday, we are savoring these last days. Happy Hour gatherings with friends, sipping ice cold cocktails, the air flavored with adult conversation. And the kids playing until they drop, tumbling into bed too exhausted for a bath. It's a little slice of parental heaven.

This last week has been full of hours spent at the pool. BOY launching himself off the spring board to fly over the deep water, suffused with "BIG KID" status. GIRL spending time perfecting her freestyle and side-breathing technique, interspersed with swimming underwater through my legs, popping up and kissing me.

There are times when I can't get enough of my children grabbing me for a quick hug or kiss. And other moments when I feel that I can't take another hand on me, asking for anything, even when it is offered in innocent sweetness.

It reflects the push and pull of this period of time for me. My youngest, my GIRL, is off to Kindergarten. There will be no preschooler at home. Differing commitments to manage, and new changes in my daily rhythm. I embrace the acceleration, yet... the speed at which my children are growing is a constant reminder of the wisps of time.

Their waged battles are fiercer, yet the hours of creative play together are a gift. For me. For them.

I am so excited for GIRL, who is counting the days until school starts. She is ready, and it is exhilarating to see. She spent over 20 minutes trying on uniform combinations one morning, picking out what she will wear on the 1st day of Kindergarten.

This week BOY muttered the infamous phrase...I am BORED! I see it as a good sign that he's ready for the start of school, too.

As for me? Most of the time I feel ready now, too. More than ready. And, then I take a big breath and breathe in a slew of feelings. It's complicated, this letting go...of your children.


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8 comments:

MamaJ said...

My Boy started Kindergarten two weeks ago, and I have been feeling gypped of these final weeks of summer. So CIVILIZED to begin school the day after Labor Day. As I also was starting school (teaching), I have also regretted the hectic pace of our newfound lives. I have been working throughout my children's preschoolhood, and I worry that I have missed so many moments, neglected to honor them... And now they are growing, growing, growing... So good of you to notice and post.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

In the end, it is the excitement for them and their oh-so-bright futures that always wins for me.

It's been that way for many years and I hope it holds now that the last two a Junior and Senior and it really is almost over.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I think you were there; it's just a blur sometimes.

I think you're going to love this new phase...

Jason, as himself said...

This post hit me right between the eyes. Your writing sometimes seems to flow right through me.

smalltownmom said...

Your end of summer days are so poetic. Ours were just wistful. Where did the summer go? It's been gone for two weeks already.

The letting go doesn't get easier, it just gets...different.

Kate said...

Letting go of our children....it goes on and on and on. Different phases, different stages. I woke up this summer and realized mine are GONE from my home forever except as brief visitors. The thought was sobering, sad, and exhilarating. I looked at my husband and asked, "Is our work done?" He said yes and smiled. I'm not so sure.

I envy you all the chances you still have to make a difference in their lives. Enjoy.

Manic Mommy said...

Have missed your words, J.

I was supposed to be the ecstatic one. Instead I hold my (baby) kindergartner a little closer in the days we have left before he becomes "A Big Kid".



PS - My word verification is 'dying' WTH?

ruth pennebaker said...

I agree with Kate -- you just keep letting go through the years. Lovely post, Jennifer.

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