School has begun this week.
As the beginning of each school year approaches I always experience a gamut of urgent, frantic emotions. What did I forget to work with them on over the summer? Does everyone have a functioning backpack? Is it too late to start in on a school-time sleep schedule which gets us to bed earlier than midnight and up in the morning before 7 am? How many pair of matching socks does each child own?
As we eventually become accustomed to our usual school routines I begin to relax again.
This year, though - for some reason it is different. I think it has something to do with the fact that my oldest boy is a senior in high school and my 5-year-old is starting kindergarten. I look at my 17-year-old and remember him in my 5-year-old's shoes and I hope that his dad and I have taught him all that he will need in order to be successful in the important things in life. I look at the young man he has become and my heartstrings feel a little tug. I do not have much more time before he is no longer mine to shape and mold.
There are so many things that I want him to know. There are so many things that I want for all of my kids.
What do I want most for my children? For them to see even half of the potential that I see in them. I want them to have enough self-esteem to be comfortable and social around those they don't know but not so much that no one can stand them. I want for them to really, truly understand that there is an inner beauty, generated by kindness and compassion and loyalty and honesty, that shines far brighter than outward appearances. I want them to love unconditionally, but guardedly.
And that is only the beginning. The list goes on.
Ultimately, I want them to be happy and to learn for themselves where true happiness lies.
As school begins this year I'm not sure who will be receiving the greatest education, actually. Is it my kids who are learning reading, science, languages, math... or is it me who is having to learn to loosen up the apron strings - trust in what we've taught them, give them a bit of slack and then slowly let go?
Where did the summer go?
Where did time go?
I am ready. Let the schooling begin.