Thursday, September 7, 2017

But the Years are Short

At this point in parenting, I have experienced more days that felt long than years that felt short. There have been some doozies. For the last eight and a half years (half-years count when referring to children), I have parented little people through a whole gamut of experiences. At one point, I had four children under the age of five. At that same point, we had moved cross-country, did not have a house, and started our oldest in kindergarten. I remember tearing up a bit as I sent Abby into the schoolyard on her first day. I was nervous about how she would fare, and squeamish about sending her into someone else's care after doing most of the work myself.

Things did not fast-forward over the next four years until today, but also, they did. I remember walking Abby to school with a newborn strapped to my chest, sweating as I pushed a double-stroller full of one-year-old twins with one hand and holding Abby's fat little fist with the other. Today, I held a tissue in my pocket as those four girls, all wearing backpacks that appear comically large, walked ahead of me. There were some days I couldn't wait to put them to bed. As I walked to school this morning, I could hardly process the day had finally come for me to walk to school with four girls and come home empty-handed.

Hailey harvesting the garlic
At the chain link fence that divides adult world from kid mania, I kissed my girls goodbye, told them I loved them, and reminded them I would be waiting at the end of the school day for their return at that very spot. Abby ran in to drop off her bag, Hailey and Robin took Summer by the arms and ushered her into the kindergarten cubbies to hang her jacket and bag. And there she went, I thought. My littlest girl, baby Summer, has turned four and now she is going to school. I waited for her to come back out to the play, so I could wave one last time, searching her face for any subtle cues she was upset; the kind of cues only her mama could recognize. Summer darted off to the play structure, and I stood crying, and that was that.

Charlotte's Web has led to much arachnidian enthusiasm
It feels strange to be here at home, right now, writing this. I have a sense of having done something wrong, like playing hooky. It is hard to process that this is our new permanent state: me at home, the girls at school. Rich and I went for a trail run, got sandwiches at our favourite spots, and relaxed in celebration of having made it to this date circled on a calendar. I have work to do, both domestic and professional, in the weeks and months ahead. I have plans laid to carry me forward, one step in front of the other, until I'm the next version of myself in this strange new phase of parenting.

I am so thankful to have been able to stay home with the girls all this time. Not everyone has that choice. I can remember discussing it with Rich before we were engaged, all those years ago when we were so young ourselves, still our parents' babies living at home. It feels so long ago, but I can also blink and be transported back to those conversations. Feeling confident that while there was a lot I did not know, I knew I wanted children and to stay home with them when they were young. I am still quite fresh, emerging from the trenches of staying home with a gaggle of young children, whose demands were unceasing and grew increasingly complex. I wavered on the edge of doubt so many times. Long, long days were lived. And here we are, a few short years later. 

1 comment:

  1. The title to the blog is so accurate. Curiosity does kills boredom. Like if you are in curiosity of something you tend to solve that puzzle. And eventually you kill boredom.


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