-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The past few weeks have been full of impending change, foreshadows of my future, rushing up to meet me before I'm really ready. Let me explain...
Several weeks ago was Savannah's "Wellsville Mile," a 1-mile race that all 4th and 5th graders in the south end of the valley compete in each year. To say it is a "big deal" to the kids is an understatement! I remember when the boys were both that age, standing outside for hours waiting for their heat, watching them race, and then sticking around for the awards ceremony at the end. It was always the highlight of their year, but one I can honestly say I came to dread. Each year it was dreadfully hot, there was never anywhere to sit, huge crowds of shrieking 9- and 10-year olds... what was to like? In addition, I always had to take several hours off work to go, precious annual leave that didn't accumulate near quickly enough. After Braden's last race, I was so excited because I knew it would be "years" before Savannah would be old enough and I'd "have" to go again.
Last week was Savannah's Wellsville Mile, most likely the last one I'll ever attend. It got rescheduled due to rain once, and I actually felt disappointment. My baby was running her last grade-school race... how dare it rain?!! They held it later that same week, even though the rain was even worse that day. The way it's going around here I think the organizers' figured that it would never get held if they didn't just do it. Savannah ran a very respectable 9:10 which was even more commendable given the coldness of the day. I wore my winter coat (but had no umbrella) and the rain was so bad that my pants were literally soaked from top to bottom, and the rain soaked THROUGH my coat in several places. It took me hours to warm up when I got back to work, hugging my space heater like a long-lost lover!
Last week was also Savannah's 5th grade graduation, her final day as an elementary school student. My baby is off to middle school next year, with high school just days away at the speed I feel things are happening.
Today we drove Evan to Salt Lake City, dropping him off at a hotel where he'll stay for two nights before flying off to South Carolina for Boot Camp. My baby is old enough for boot camp?!! How did that happen? Granted, he'll only be gone for 10 1/2 weeks this summer and will return to finish his senior year before he's off again for his AIT training and most likely a switch from National Guard to Active Duty Army. I'm feeling very thankful that I'm getting to take this leap into adulthood in two steps, but I think I am in disbelief that the days of having him at home (and Braden hot on his heels too) are really coming to a fast close.
I can vividly remember the days when the kids were all small; all the tears, diapers, fights, illnesses, tantrums, school "to-do's," etc., etc. and wishing that they were older, wishing for time for myself and my wants. Wishing, honestly, that I could just spend five minutes alone in the bathroom without having some small (or big) person banging on the other side of the door, demanding my attention that very minute and any other spare minute I might think I'd like to have. It seemed like the day would never come.
Now those days are breathing hotly down my neck, and I'm really starting to struggle with the changes that are already coming, and the bigger changes I know are next. It's exciting to see the young men and women they are all becoming (or in Josh's case, have become), but what I wouldn't give to go back and enjoy the moments that I didn't fully appreciate as the gifts they were. To change my attitude and hug each kid a little longer, a little tighter, and to take moments away from cleaning or cooking or helping with homework just to talk, and really listen to their excitement about the day.
I can't imagine how strange it's going to be not having Evan around all summer, but I'm going to focus on enjoying the next stage of the journey.
Speaking of milestones, this little blog of mine has reached one tonight: This is officially my 100th post. Here's to the next 100, whatever they may bring... :-)