Growing up moments can be happy and sad at the same time. My big boys’ last full week of kindergarten is this week. Sometimes the habitual, daily routines like getting boys ready in the morning can become hum-drum tiring. I have tried to embrace and appreciate the morning moments before dropping them off at the back “kindergarten” entrance. Next year, they will not be the littlest there. They will enter the school, perhaps getting lost in the crowd with gigantic fifth graders. I will not get to pick up their busy bodies at noon. They will go to school all day long. That makes my heart hurt a little. And I already start to miss them and worry about them…next fall. When they will be first graders. Then, obviously, I start to miss them when they head off to college. And then I stop and remember that they are only six and a half years old. The hours in the days of parenting can be long, really long sometimes, but somehow the years seem to soar by. In a blur. So fast. It can’t be right. Didn’t my boys just learn to walk? With their arms up in the air, giggling, rocking back and forth, side to side, taking those tiny shuffle grandpa steps. I thought that happened last week. Or maybe it was the week before.
My kindergarten boys are excitedly counting down the days until summer break. Eight days left. Woo hoo! School is out! Summer provides the perfect setting for a kid’s dream life. Swimming in the pool, in the lake, in our backyard. Non-stop playing. Baseball. Water balloons. Lemonade stands. Ice cream, popsicles, and snow cones. Straight up outdoor life. Long hot summer days. Bedtime: optional. Sleeping in….until August rolls around again. When the reality of my kids getting older and life moving at a quicker pace than I can sometimes emotionally keep up with sets in.
All you want to do when you’re a kid is grow up, be bigger, do more. My boys keep talking about all the things they will get to do when they “turn eight years old.” I think I told them they would be responsible enough at 8 to get a pocket knife. Probably for zombie attacks. Whoops. It’s quite the opposite for me, as an adult. I want to pause time, “grow down”, donate my responsibilities, and re-ignite that careless, instinctual child-like ability to live in the present moments. One of the greatest gifts kids unknowingly offer is the pure joyful and innocent ability to live precisely in the moment. Only the present moment. Completely engrossed in the rolly poly crawling up their arm. Totally focused on climbing up the branches of a tree. Wrestling with their daddy, not thinking about anything else, giggling those contagious hysterical laughs the whole time. I want to capture it all with my eyes, my ears, into my thoughts, and sadly, on my phone. So, I can replay it over and over.
It can be difficult to let go or loosen up the grip when you’re juggling bills, jobs, housework, the future and all the rest of the grown-up stuff. Some things are going to slip, slide, and not get done in the most effective and timely fashion. I have tiny summer goals to not let my boys’ reading skills, math or handwriting skills decline. I’m going to think of some fun learning games too. Or I may ask experienced friends for help. I’m also going to try to put my phone down, and away, until night-time when they go to sleep. If they ever go to sleep. That’s my summer goal to help me be more like a kid. To be truly present and engaged in the fun, happy summer moments with them. Asher says occasionally, “MAHHHHM, your phone is mind controlling you.” A lot of times, I will be texting someone, but other times I will be on Facebook or Instagram or writing something down. I don’t really even know where he learned the term “mind controlling.” Probably from a super hero show. Sounds like something one of the bad guys would try to do to stop Superman or Batman. Anyways, I don’t want to be mind controlled by my iPhone. Or my kids to think that way anyways. I would much rather it just be lost somewhere with my keys. Maybe I will have one of my kids hide it everyday. I’d like to think that’s how things usually get lost anyways. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t put my keys in the deep freezer with the Popsicles. That would just not make any sense at all.