Thursday, June 20, 2013

Last Day of School

Holy crap. I have a fourth grader. This is a BIG deal. I remember fourth grade. That was the year when I just couldn't stand reading Johnny Tremaine (boooooooring) so I skimmed it instead, then busted out a book report for the first time without actually having done the work (such.a.rebel). That was the year a new, cute boy came to our school and sat across from me and all I could think was that he was sooo annoying (two years later, I was head-over-heels in love with him). That was the year I first found out about the Titanic and made my mom drive me to the library so I could research all about it. (This was SEVEN years before the movie. I was totally ahead of my time). That was the year that my first friend got her first period and that was HUGE. That was the year that Mrs. Banks hid Reeses peanut butter cups in her drawer and she'd give you one if you had the hiccups. So, naturally, I faked hiccups all.the.time. That was the last year the teacher still read stories out loud to us after recess and I can remember Number the Stars by Lois Lowry almost perfectly.

Fourth grade. FOURTH GRADE! What is that!? How have I raised someone to the point that they are going to REMEMBER FOURTH GRADE!? I'm only 30, how do I have a fourth grader? Oh, crap. No, that's not even true, I'm 31. Damn it!

Look, I am not one of "those" moms. I don't helicopter. I don't want my children to like me so much that I can't control them. I don't fill their schedules so they won't ever be bored. I don't cater to them - much. But I am head over heels for them. And the last day of school is one of those times that gets to me every year where I become a weepy, reflective mess of a mommy. What is it about your first child that it's almost impossible to think about them growing up without seeing that teeny tiny little bundle you held in your arms, freshly new to life, as your heart just about exploded out of your chest? I just can't believe that it's been nine years since I stared down at those big brown eyes for the first time and realized that my life would be completely different - and 5000 times more amazing - with him in it.

I just can't believe that he's as tall as my shoulder, has big front teeth and wants gel in his hair because it looks cool. I just can't believe that he will choose to watch baseball by himself and talk about all that baseball stuff with his dad like it's their own foreign language. I can't believe that he will empty the dishwasher, take out the recycling, make his own lunch and occasionally, tell me "no!" even though he knows the consequences. I can't believe he thinks his own brilliant thoughts and has his own brilliant opinions.

I can't believe that in three short months, he's going to fourth grade.

I just can't believe it.

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My God, he's handsome.


On the last day of school, the other room mom and I brought pizza for their class lunch while they watched a movie and signed yearbooks. The teacher had allowed them to sit next to whomever they chose and all the boys were in a row, sandwiched between two rows of girls. I watched Charlie as he giggled to his friend, Cal, begged for extra pizza, and accepted attention confidently as the class called out to him as the tiger in Swiss Family Robinson came on screen, since it was his assigned animal from their big research and presentation project.

I watched and I could see... he's happy. He's a really good, really happy kid. My heart is still as full as it was when I first met him. I love him so much. I love every single thing about him. And I am so proud.

And when I watch him, I still see him with those same brand-new-mama eyes. I marvel at him. I am amazed by him. Tears flood to my eyes if I think about it too much. It's an overhwleming, all-consuming love. I still don't really understand how or why he came to me back in those days when I was so young and had no clue about a thing, but my God! I am so grateful. I am so grateful that he is in my life. And I am in his.
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And, as has become our new tradition, the last day of school means there will be a water fight! Not only is it a wonderful treat for the kids to walk home to tons of loaded squirt guns and water balloons, but it also, momentarily, takes away all the sadness of that last day. I wrote about this last year and had many, many more pictures then. It was rainy this year so I had to pack away the DSLR and turn to instagram.

Henry was, as usual, adorable. Last year, the water fight made him cry, but this year he LOVED it. He just about attacked me to help fill the water balloons! So much so that every time I'd turn my head, he'd snatch one out of the bucket and smash it onto the driveway. I was baking a cake while filling balloons and when I walked inside for TWO SECONDS to turn the pans around, I came back out to find the neighbor had stopped his jeep to tattle on Henry for ransacking my bucket and throwing about 15 of our ammo into the street. Monster.
I'd love to be able to stop time. But since it's impossible to avoid last days, I'm just so lucky to be living these moments with these amazing boys.


  1. That picture of Charlie in class looking at you is AMAZING.

  2. Totally in love with your children....that's how it should be, little one. Proud of you.