Another Chapter Complete

I always have a hard time around this time of year. You see, today is the last day of school. And while I am excited to have my kids home for the summer, it breaks my heart to know that another chapter in their childhoods is coming to a close.

This is the last day of 8th grade for Liam. He is moving on to high school now, which means I only have four years left with him at home. Four years. He has always been a challenging child, and there have been countless times when I was not sure if I would survive from one day to the next. Now here we are, a few short years away from graduation, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. I still see my little baby, his sideways smile forever etched on my heart.

My twins are now 8th graders. Seriously. Teenagers. Only a short year behind their brother when it comes to graduation. One more year of middle school, and it is high school for them as well. I am watching them grow into amazing, beautiful people, and my heart smiles. And it cries. And I find myself spinning in circles, not exactly sure what to do. How is one to hold them close and set them free at the same time?

I try to live in the moment, enjoy what is in front of me at this exact moment in time and not worry about what is to come. Sometimes I fail miserably at this. Like right now. This will pass, and pretty soon we will be enjoying summer and I will not be thinking about school and how old my kids are getting and how ridiculously fast time is going. But right now I just want to hit the rewind button. I want to go back and be a better mom, enjoy the little moments more than I did back when I was in them and completely exhausted.

I used to work with a woman back when the kids were little. The twins were 2 and Liam was 3. Her daughter was older, so every time she would see my kids, she would comment on how much she missed her toddler, but how much she loved her teenager. I remember trying at the time to imagine what it would be like to be the mom of teenagers, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t picture my babies as teens. It was impossible, not to mention so far off that it would never actually happen. Now here we sit, three teenagers in our family, and all I can think is, I really miss my toddlers, but I sure do love my teenagers. Life is funny.

I wish I were one of those people who could stash my emotions away somewhere, always wearing my brave face no matter what, but unfortunately I am not one of those people. Every emotion I feel seems to stamp itself right on my face. There is no hiding anything. I know that growing up is perfectly natural, a simple fact of life, Babies grow up, life goes on. And I know that every moment is precious and meant to be cherished. My head knows and understands this, but my heart does not always agree. I should be excited for the next chapter to begin, but I am still a little sad about the ending of the previous one.

Oh, but I am so very grateful for this life and these beautiful young adults who call me mom. I am grateful to get be a part of their journey. As I sit here thinking back over the last school year, I know that I would not change a thing…

Hello Summer Vacation!

Our kids have now all officially completed their elementary school careers. After a nice ceremony Friday, our twins are now middle schoolers. 7th grade, here they come. Another chapter on their childhoods has come to an end, and it went by so incredibly fast…

Friday also marked the completion of Liam’s first year of middle school. He enjoyed it so much, and coupled with all the sports he participated in, it was a great year for him. On to 8th grade for him already. Can high school really only be a year away?

I am so proud of all three of my kids. They were sweet little kids, and they are turning into great young adults. It is hard to watch the years race by so fast, but I look forward to seeing all the future holds for them.

For now, though… Hello SUMMER!!!!!!

Welcome Summer Vacation

And just like that, the school year has come to an end.

We started our countdown chain when we had about 48 days left, and this morning we took the last link off. After 180 days of school, we have arrived at summer vacation. No more homework. No more lunch money. No more early morning wake-up calls. It’s simply summer. Time to play. Relax. Be.

As the kids and I were leaving school this afternoon, I thanked William’s teacher for putting up with him for the year. I laughed as she replied, “It was good, he really grew on me.”

End of the year teacher gifts

I have a lot of good memories from the school year. The kids have all grown so much, physically, emotionally, mentally. As I look at them, I see a whole world of possibility, and what a bright world it is.