Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Waning Summer Days

Mom and Dad take a look at me, on my bike riding both hands free
And I'm all right...it's a good night
Bigger now then I've ever been, training wheels got no need for them
Mom I'm growing - Dad I've got to get going...

- "Mom and Dad" by Jason Upton

I've had this song running through my head lately, in these days when the mornings are cooler and the sun disappears sooner.
It's a season of conflicts.
Part of me wants to be DONE with summer, to shove my kids out the front door and wave goodbye, have a fun time at school! The other wants to grab them close and never let them go.
One of the biggest blessings, in my opportunity to be a stay at home mom, has been summers with the kids. Some admittedly have been harder than others. Trying to figure out how to occupy the two of them when Ethan was little was a definite challenge. I'm sure the next few years will be interesting as well, with a new little one. No summer has been perfect. The kids whine. I marvel at the fact that we can do so much for them, and they can still claim boredom. After 9 or 10 weeks of no structure Ethan in particular starts to "fray around the edges." His behavior these last few days has left me nearly in tears.
But that being said, we always seem to have FUN.
There's less rushing and snapping to hurry up, get ready, wake up, we need to go. We've picked blueberries and strawberries. We climbed a really big mountain. They each conquered the latest level in swimming lessons. They did two VBSs and I loved listening to them bee-bop around the house afterwards, singing songs about God. We looked for shooting stars (in Maine, where there are much fewer lights). They played at the park, swam at the beach, bounced in bounce houses. We baked cookies and played board games and tried out some Pinterest kid crafts that were epic fails.
In the summer, time slows. There's time to lie on the grass and watch the clouds go by. There's time to see my kids growing and changing rather than waking up one day and suddenly wondering where the time went.
We are not the same, the Jason Upton song goes,
We are changing
Another season fades
But that's ok - cause we are changing- anyway

Anna is going into fourth grade. She's decided she likes talking on the phone with a friend now. Lately they've been gabbing about Laloopsies for over an hour each time they speak. I can only wonder how long that will last. I know they won't talk about dolls forever. Every once in awhile they dabble into the tween world. For a few moments they were both singing to a Taylor Swift song her friend put up to the phone. Now Anna wants an iPod or something like it so she can play music, too.
And Ethan, Ethan. He tells me he is scared to go to kindergarten. Specifically, he's scared of the loud cafeteria. His teachers wrote him a social story about this. I can see the fear in his eyes and want to hug him hard, but I know this is what he has to do. With Ethan, I think not only about him growing and changing, but about him maturing at a different rate than those around him. I think about him being at school all day and pray he will be able to articulate what happens to him; if there are issues or worries or troubles. I think of him attempting conversation and having it be off or wrong and kids giggling and not understanding. Then I swallow hard.
As summer ends, it's hard not to re-think and question. Did we do enough? Did we slow down? Did I stop and enjoy my children? Did I balance my freelance work with their needs correctly? What about the times they wanted to play and saw me staring at the computer screen?
Did I give them what they will need to face this new year and new challenges? Are we doing it right? Will they be okay? I realize these are questions most parents ask. I realize now how hard my own parents tried; how much they cared. And somehow I even love their failures, because it shows me it's okay to be human. It shows me you can love and still not do everything right, and someday, your own children will hopefully understand.
Mom and Dad the kids sure grow fast
the more they grow up the more I ask
What am I doing? I hope it doesn't ruin 'em
Ways are worth more then costly gems
I'm diggin up my past to remember them
Mom I love you  - Dad there's nobody like you

As summer draws to a close, I know the way to calm my worries and fears is a common theme. I have to open up my cupped hands and let them go. Not completely. I hold them in my heart. I hold them in my prayers. I hold them each day when they return. But I have to let them spread their wings and lopsidedly fly into the next stage life has for them.
I have to remember they are not mine. They are on loan for a time that seems simultaneously molasses slow and lightning fast. I don't have to be perfect. I just have to do what I can: to love, and protect, and pray, and entrust them to God.

That's all I can do.
We are not the same
We are changing
Another season fades
But that's ok - cause we are changing- anyway
As if you hadn't noticed, I love this song!


1 comment:

truthinlove said...

This is totally how I feel right now. I could write almost the EXACT same things as you wrote, except I'd change the names to Ian and Eli and Alex. (: You're right. We all feel like this at times and we do have to let go and someday they will understand. The only thing I wanted to say to you is that most moms, if not all, wonder if their kid will say something "off" or that they other kids don't understand and if he will be laughed at or treated in a mean way. It's a common concern. I know Ethan has particular concerns with socialization, but the more I teach the more I see that all of us--not just kids and especially not just kids with autism or other needs--are learning how to do life. We are all learning how to have relationships and how to communicate. Just think of all of the self-help books out there telling us how to do it better. Ethan is certainly not alone in this endeavor. Hope that encourages you just a little bit. And nobody really enjoys that loud cafeteria either. (: