“And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”
-Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
When I learned I was pregnant the very first time, waiting impatiently for my belly to grow and and feel the kicks over my rounded belly, I could hardly imagine the days past infancy. Then my maternity leave ended and I handed my 12 week old baby over to a virtual stranger to care for him. The emotions and lingering tears that day seemed insurmountable. Still, I couldn't see too much past his toddler days, when I'd be chasing him around, worrying about how many bananas produces constipation. Nothing really prepared me for the day this baby--once two pink lines on a plastic stick I peed on--would cross the driveway on that rainy, dreary day, walk the stairs of that monstrous yellow bus, pause, turn, and wave his little hand, before heading off into the world. Alone.
The emotions and lingering tears that day seemed insurmountable. Now that we're a week into kindergarten, I can wave good-bye to Spencer as he gets on the school bus each morning with dry eyes and a smile on my face. Yet, I'm still not looking too far past this point. I don't care to dwell too much on more of the "firsts" in the future. I'll take one highly packed emotional hurdle at a time.
As if Spencer starting kindergarten wasn't enough, Ashton started preschool, too. Luckily he had a practice run this summer, and we got our tears out of the way then. The morning of his big day was filled with smiles and giggles and not an ounce of separation anxiety. And how are my Monday and Wednesday mornings spent while both boys are in school? Well, my house is very, very quiet and peaceful.
Now each afternoon Ashton and I wait outside for the bus that once seemed monstrous to pull up by our driveway and unload all the neighborhood kids, looking for the littlest one among them to hear all about his day. And our nights are spent with me and Spencer sitting at the dining room table doing homework while Daddy cleans the supper mess and Ashton buzzes around us. Our lazy summer days may be over, but this new routine we're settling into feels just right. Some day in the not too distant future there will be another highly packed emotional hurdle to tackle that leave tear stains on my cheeks. But, for now, we'll content ourselves with the current one now stored away in the record books.
Before our lazy days gave way to scheduled ones, I dressed up the boys and took them to a state park for their yearly photo session. Normally I would take them separately, but time constraints niggled at me and I decided to do them together. It was definitely more challenging. I got more "outtakes" than perfect shots, but I am grateful for these moments of their brotherly bond captured before the two become three in October.