Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Yesterday the kids started back to school. Will I ever get used to the school year starting in early August? Heck, yes! I'm very glad to return to a more predicable routine after three months of balancing my work obligations with the summer schedule.

Casey was off to school early to be in the "safety patrol" where she gets the honor of wearing a sash-and-belt and opening car doors in the carpool lane. She was very excited to participate in this program when it was announced last spring, but now that the time has come to actually put in an extra hour a day she doesn't seem so enthused. I'm sure she'll settle in just fine. She was very happy to be placed in the same homeroom as one of her best friends, although I'm a little concerned about a couple of her other classmates. Oh well, life itself is a mixed bag, so why should 5th grade be any different?

I peeked out the front window and watched Lincoln waiting for the bus on his first day of high school. I see him standing all serious but not sullen, studiously casual in the clothes he has carefully picked, every bit the young man. I said a silent but fervent prayer for the safety of my sweet children as they venture ever further into their own lives.

I don't have a strong history of journaling but I found an entry I wrote almost exactly 9 years ago:

Linc starts kindergarten tomorrow. Tonight at bedtime he reiterated that he was scared to go. I listened, empathized, offered assurance. “I know you can do it, son.” “No, Dad, I can’t. C-A-T, can’t.” It was so touching......Before I left him to find his way to sleep though his maze of feelings, I said to him 10 times, “It’ll be great!” He joined me on the 10th repetition. We talked about this-and-that for a minute more and then he said “I just remembered – it’ll be great!” A couple of hours later I went into his room to check on him and found him sleeping deeply, clutching a stuffed Babar doll. My eyes teared. This little boy, this so so little boy. He is such a good human, and he tries so hard.....As much as anything I am proud and grateful that he can say directly, “this scares me”. It is only in recent years that I have learned how to say this publicly and without shame. Tomorrow I will take him to school and we will eat breakfast together before I leave him with his kind teacher. I know it is the same boy who I will see tomorrow night. I need to repeat that 10 times.
I wonder what I will be writing in another 9 years, when he is 23 and she is 19? Rather than fret about whether I will still be around I will affirm the blessing of a long and healthy life and strive to take not a single day for granted. There is still much to do.

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