By Beck

It’s been an unusually cold couple of weeks here, and even though intellectually I know that my kids will be out of school in mere days (ten school days left, I think), emotionally I still think that it’s months and months away.

Technically, the kids will still be in school for a few more weeks, but summer starts this weekend – there is the church picnic and a barbecue at the summer camp The Girl will be attending for a week and a birthday party at the beach, and then every single weekend after this point is claimed by summery things. Art shows! Berry picking! Camping trips! Backyard pottery! Yes, very summery, although if the weather never improves we’ll be doing all of those things in sweatshirts and jeans instead of our usual pretty summer dresses.

It’s 10c today, which is… let me check… 50f. And yet impossibly enough, it’s already mid-June, half-way through this year and in just another few months my kids will be in pre-kindergarten, grade 2 and GRADE 5. Thinking about being the mother of a kid in grade five gives me a chilled, elderly sort of feeling, makes me feel like putting on yet another sweatshirt.

The closer we get to summer and freedom, the worse the kids get at getting out of the house in the mornings. This morning was particularly awful, with the kids running around and shrieking and goofing around and me yelling out to BRUSH YOUR TEETH! COMB YOUR HAIR! PUT ON YOUR PANTS! And then they were gone, ready just in time and off to school.

When I had them – which doesn’t feel all that long ago, even though it was – I was startled by how quickly they were themselves, how much of their personalities were theirs right from the start. And this morning, watching them dash about putting on their shoes and grabbing their bookbags, I had one of those sudden revelations that made me clap my hand over my mouth and stand there, full of this sudden radiance, this rush of warmth. They are who they have always been, I suddenly thought, suddenly seeing their baby selves and their lanky school child selves and their almost visible adult selves as the same thing, suddenly knowing that their 72 year old selves would be as much my treasured child as the children running out the door, dragging their bookbags behind them, out into the cold morning that the calendar says is almost summer.

19 Responses to Sunshine
  1. Omaha Mama
    June 11, 2009 | 11:44 am

    This post makes me a cry a little. I know just what you mean. These little people can just rip you right in two, huh. Watching them grow is dizzying.
    It’s been coldish here too, not quite getting to 70 each day. It’s in the 50’s in the a.m. Cold for June. Cold for kids who want to swim. We’ve been needing a sweatshirt in the morning, sleeping in a very cool house at night. I like it a lot, but it doesn’t *quite* feel like summer, does it?

  2. mimi
    June 11, 2009 | 12:03 pm

    Yup, that was exactly how I’ve been feeling about Munchkin as I look at her birth day photos, and her one year and two year and three year birthdays. She is just so exactly herself, and has been for always. It’s comforting.

  3. PastormacsAnn
    June 11, 2009 | 12:57 pm

    Aw Beck. That’s lovely. Truly.

  4. Heather
    June 11, 2009 | 1:11 pm

    For me, I think I will always look at my oldest child and see her at about 2 or 3 years old. It always startles me a little to really LOOK at her and see the big girl she is.

    And it’s been in the 50s for highs here too. I’m anxiously waiting for summer to arrive.

  5. chelle
    June 11, 2009 | 1:46 pm

    awww such a sweet revelation!

  6. heidiannie
    June 11, 2009 | 2:48 pm

    Not only are they always going to be just who they started out being- but no matter how old you will still treat them like your small children. My mother died when I was 49 and she still was telling me to hurry up, put on my socks and shoes, and get going!

  7. Reluctant Housewife
    June 11, 2009 | 3:58 pm

    I know exactly what you mean.

  8. Nicole
    June 11, 2009 | 5:46 pm

    It’s hard to believe it’s the end of school, it has been so cold here as well. It’s so true, isn’t it, that they are just who they are. Very nice post.

  9. Jennifer
    June 12, 2009 | 12:19 am

    Yay!!! I like that. And I love those “aha” moments!

    Wouldn’t life have been easier when they were babies if we could have known their personalities FIRST?

    “Oh, hush now, you little drama queen. Nothing is wrong.”


    “Stop stressing, little high-strung child… it’s all okay.”


    “You will grow up soon enough, little high-maintenance boy who wants to do everything the big boys do…perfectly.”


  10. Painted Maypole
    June 12, 2009 | 12:53 am

    i’m still hung up on the 2 weeks left of school. We’ve been out for three.

  11. Karen MEG
    June 12, 2009 | 9:12 am

    It has been COLD! Finally, I think the summer is here, though.

    Less than two weeks to go, then the morning rush will subside. I don’t have major plans for the kids in terms of programming this summer … a mistake? We’ll see… I’ve pledged to enjoy the kids more this summer – they are too quick to run out, run off and grow up.

    Lovely post, Beck.

  12. Kyla
    June 12, 2009 | 9:52 am

    Very sweet. It is odd how those moments come out of nowhere and grab you.

  13. i dunno
    June 12, 2009 | 3:24 pm

    Gee. All these frigid June temperatures sure do make me see that Al Gore really does know what he’s talking about after all, doesn’t he? Gotta loooooooooooooooove global WARMING, don’cha????

  14. His Girl Amber
    June 12, 2009 | 5:34 pm

    *nods* yes, this sinks in every now and again to my heart, too.

  15. Zina
    June 13, 2009 | 12:20 am

    It warms my heart when my mom occasionally mentions that she still gets the same enjoyment from looking at her children as when we were tiny ones; still feels the same way about us.

    (I will say, however, that she does NOT still tell me to hurry up and put on my shoes and get going. But maybe she never told me those things.)

  16. Karen
    June 15, 2009 | 7:57 am

    In the not to recent past we went through some stuff as a family that made me feel like I had lost to some inner world the self of my now 10 year old, but then just this morning I realized he was talking himself out the door, probably still chatting to me as he walked to the bus, and suddenly I felt like maybe I had him back, that his self was willing to leak out onto the rest of us again. And I smiled with relief. It seems like a near miss. I am feeling so grateful.

  17. Alyssa Goodnight
    June 15, 2009 | 12:21 pm

    50F??? Oh, how I envy you! We are at 95F and sticky and on the edge of sweat all the time.

    I totally get your post today–was thinking much the same thing myself this morning. How they’ve been just the same, but in different ways, since they were born.

    Enjoy your last few days before school’s out–we’ve been out for a week and a half already.

  18. Lisa b
    June 15, 2009 | 7:01 pm

    it is so true, they are, we all are, exactly who we are the minute we are born.
    It took me several months to realise that sweet five week old WAS giving me attitude. 🙂

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