I've just put you all to bed after a day spent playing at the park with friends, splashing in the tub, getting hair cuts at the kitchen table, packing lunches. Tonight, we stood outside and yelled goodbye to summer.
"Bye! Bye! Bye, Summer! See you next year!" You both yelled, while Seth waved his chubby hand in the air, aiming at the sky. While I cut your hair, you asked questions. What was school going to be like this year? What would you do first? Second? Third? Most importantly, when was lunch?
You're looking forward to this year. I, however, am taking this night to look back at this summer I've had with you. We have slept in ridiculously late and read book after book out loud on the couch. We have watched the same movies a hundred times, all cuddled up together. We have taken naps, made adventurous dinners, and spring cleaned in the summer.
In other words, we have been together. We have lived life all together this summer, with little interference from the outside world. We stayed home instead of going out, and when we did go out it was to head for the pool or the spray park or the grocery. Looking back, we didn't do much, but I had so, so much fun doing nothing with you all. You're the best company, even when you're making me crazy.
Tomorrow morning, though, we'll wake up early. We'll probably be late and I'll rush you all out the door. Seth, you'll probably freak out on me when I drop you off at school, but I know it won't last. You're itching to fall in love with that classroom, I can tell. And I think your teacher is already a little bit in love with you. I'll probably cry, though...this will be basically the first time I have ever left you anywhere besides our home in your life, aside from the short trips I made to visit your brother and sister when you were in the NICU. You're growing fast, and your big boy hair cut and over sized puppy paws telegraph it clearly: more change is a-comin'. You're not a baby anymore.
And after we drop off Seth it will be your turn, Jace and Ava. It'll be all new for you, Jace, but for Ava this will be old hat, her third year at your school. I hope she's nice to you. I see your sweetness and sensitivity, and I know you are so much more fragile, your feelings so much more easily hurt than you let on. Your class of eight boys and two girls is going to be high on testosterone and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel fiercely protective of you. I know how amazing you are, and I know that if you can just manage to hold it together, everyone else will see it too.
Ava, you are such a big girl. First Grade! Time flies. I could have sworn you were just that tiny, solemn baby that ushered me into motherhood with the same grace you show in everything you do. I know you'll do great this year, and not just because you're wearing your "perfect dress", although a great wardrobe never hurts anything.
I can't believe the three of you will be in school tomorrow morning. I miss you already!
Love you more!
It's you and me, kid. This is literally a first! Want to hit up Panera?