Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I couldn't very well count myself among the contemplatives if I didn't sit for awhile with these feelings of nostalgia and lament. This week, Abby started school, marking the official end of summer vacation. Later this week, Hailey and Robin begin kindergarten. It's all a little much. Saying goodbye to summer, perhaps the best summer of my life. Saying goodbye to my miracle twin girls as they walk into the school system, away from days spent home with me. As Jimi Hendrix said, "The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye."

This summer has been so many adventures, filling our memory banks with stories, discoveries, development and love. Road trips, beaches, learning to swim, lakes, boats, picnics, day trips, Peter Pan reenactments, iced hibiscus tea, barbecue parties, turning our songs up loud, chalk pictures, gardening, and many more snippets that together tell the story of a summer I hope never to forget. Each girl became so much more herself, showing the world and I of what magic she is made.  

And then there are Hailey and Robin.  This week, I will pack two new lunch boxes, stuff them into two new backpacks, put them on comically teeny backs, and walk hand-in-hand (I hope) to school. I will hug them, kiss them, tell them I'll be right there at the end of the day, that I love them, that they're ready, that this will be so much fun, and then I will watch them walk into the outstretched hand of their teacher, and they will be in school. They will spend six and a half hours of their waking day with other people, not me, and though I know they are ready, and this is good progress, I want to keep them with me. Their little hands fit so well in mine.

I am still learning from them. I am still watching nature and nurture debates play out between my identical twins on a regular basis. I am still learning to listen to Hailey's soft, quiet voice. I am still learning to see Robin's eyes follow a conflict in front of her so that I can step in before a sister fight erupts. I am still learning to sit and be with them, watching them play and imagine. I have so much to learn about patience and love and gratitude that I don't want to relinquish their presence in my house all day long. 

First day of Grade 2
Too many days go by before I stop to feel gratitude that Hailey and Robin happened at all.  Maybe the way my heart misses them while they are at school will serve as a reminder of how precious they are. Summertime was spectacular and having Hailey and Robin home with me all these years has been a transformation. I feel weepy that it's over, but I know and trust in the passage of time, because it means we all get to keep growing together. Onto the next nuggets of gold, buried somewhere along the path, just waiting to be discovered.

"Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay." -Robert Frost

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