Anyone who knows me well knows that autumn is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year. The light changes and the bright summer sunshine turns into soft, orange and golden hues. The world becomes a riot of colors and homey scents. My birthday always lends the perfect excuse for wine tasting and discussions of Halloween costumes accelerate. We’ve usually watched Hocus Pocus ten times by the first of September and everyone in my house is ready to trade in hotdogs and hamburgers for the coziness of comfort food.
But strangely enough I’ve not been feeling my normal festive fall excitement this year. And I’ve not understood why… what’s wrong with me? Ordinarily I’m ripping dead summer plants out and putting in mums by the end of August and counting the days until I can finally put up my fall/Halloween decorations. However, it dawned on me a few days ago, when I was shopping for mums and fighting back tears, that there was something seriously bothering me. I kept thinking… it’s the craziness of our fall schedule; it’s always hard to go from the easy, laidback days of summer to the busyness of back to school. I reassured myself that once I got back into the routine, once we all got back to the routine, all would settle and I’d feel better.
But it hasn’t gone away; instead my anxiety has become worse. And today I finally realize what was causing me so much consternation. Today I logged on to the school website to get the boys’ supply lists and saw all three of my little guys’ names on the Parent Portal website for school. I immediately burst into tears. The anxiety I’ve been feeling for the past several weeks streamed down my face as I sat at my desk. Not usually a “crier,” my concerned co-workers immediately asked if everything was ok. But all I could do was offer a pathetic smile and nod my head. It was the best I could do at the moment… I couldn’t talk as emotion filled my throat.
I continued to look at the screen, their names staring back at me… Braeden, Kian, Kelan. The reality that three of my four little peanuts are in school this year has hit me like a ton of bricks in the face. Now I’m sure many of you, like some of my co-workers, are thinking, “Really? Get a grip. I don’t think all the tears are necessary.” And I can understand why you’re thinking that- believe me, I’m trying. But they were just babies yesterday and I don’t understand how today I have a 13, 7, and almost 5 year old? Not to mention their little imp of a sister who’s 3 going on 25. How did this happen so fast? So much change is going to happen- to them, to our little family and I think the momma bear inside me wants to lock the door and keep them all tucked away for as long as I can. Unfortunately, try as I might, it’s not to be.
It’s so hard when your children are young, you’re so tired and so busy. So many times I’ve wished things would slow down just a little, so I could enjoy them more- just as they are at that very moment. Sadly life continues, changing every second and with it times goes by faster.
Someone once told me that, “Children are markers in time.” You don’t see yourself aging until you realize how fast your children are growing. Today it all became very clear how much we are all aging.
My tears have dried now and I feel a little less anxious. But tonight after soccer pictures and school supply shopping, I’m going to slow things down as much as I can. Maybe we’ll watch Hocus Pocus and snuggle in with homemade popcorn. Tomorrow I’ll face the change. But tonight I’ll take the ever-speeding time and force it to slow down so I can enjoy my children just as they are, at that moment.