So Long! Farewell!

first day of school
First Day of School for the 2015/2016 School Year.

“Tomorrow is the last day of school,” I said quietly to my husband last night as we sat on the couch reading books.   We’d just put both boys to bed and were relaxing.   I had attempted to get my mind focused on my book, to get lost in a fictional world, but my mind kept evading the words on the pages.   I kept thinking about the last day of school.

“It makes me sad,” I continued when my husband didn’t say anything to me.

“Why?  Because you’ll have to have them the entire time?” he asked me.  I was shocked and angered by his pointedness.   It hurt, I can’t lie, but I brushed it off as the tears started to roll down my cheeks.

“No.  I’m sad because it’s another chapter that is written and closing.   I’m sad because for some reason it is just hitting me that Davey will be 5 in just 4 short months.”

And there it was.   My oldest, the one who made me a mother, is quickly becoming a big boy, a child no more, someone who won’t need or want mom’s hugs and kisses.   Then there’s Henry, my demon child who’s an angel for everyone else.   Well, he’s officially going into K2 AND on top of that is getting a big boy room!   It’s just too much!

There are times, especially on days like the last few I’ve had, when I wish I had a time machine like Orson Welles wrote about.   I’d want this time machine to take me back to the moments in my children’s lives.   I want to get out and experience it all over again, not just relive it all through videos and pictures.   My husband asked me if this meant I wanted to start over, to have another child?   No.  I don’t want that.   I just want my babies to still be my babies.

As I picked the boys up from school today, I found myself choking back tears and trying to beat down that lump slowly rising in my throat.   Henry’s teacher actually cried when he hugged her.   As a matter of fact, he hugged every teacher and even a few of the kids.   When I spoke to him this morning about it being his last day and not getting to see Levi, Tommy, and Rob again, he asked, “why?” and his little lip quivered.   Shame on me for stirring up that emotion especially since it broke my heart a little and even more so when I saw the sweetness that is my Henry hug all of his friends good bye and exclaim, “have a good summer.”

Davey hugged his teachers, he hugged his classmates, and even managed to squeeze in a hug for another parent.   As he was being placed in the car, one of the teachers asked if he was enrolled to come back next year, because as she said, “I just can’t imagine my school year without this happy face.”

I have my trying days with my boys, days when I want to throw in the towel, days when my patience gets the better of me.  I have days when I just want to scream at the top of my lungs and then shout from the rafters, “I can’t wait for you two to grow up!”   Am I really ready for them to grow up?   Probably not, but I don’t have a say in the matter.

So, as we say, “so long and farewell” to this school year, I want to give a huge thank you to every teacher who has worked with my both of my boys, who have loved them, taught them, and treasured them as much as I do.   I’m excited for K4 & K2 next year, but right now I desperately want to cling to their memories and adventures from this past year.   I’m afraid that the winds of change may rip the balloon string from my fingers, their innocence and childhood floating away.

last day of school
Last day of school for the 2015/2016 school year.
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No Regrets

“You want to be a pilot?  Well, are you training to be a pilot?   Are you studying to be one?   Are you doing anything that is helping you to accomplish that dream?  No?  Well, then you’re just living a fantasy.”

Those were the words spoken at a high school graduation I attended on Friday night.   I call myself a writer, but I was just asked by a friend over the weekend how my writing was going.   We don’t see each other that often, since she lives out of town, but we both share a love of writing and a love of books.  Apparently, she is, or I should say was, a reader of my blogs and she noticed I hadn’t written in a while, a month to be exact.   “Well, you do have two boys.  You’re hands are full,” she said eager to make me feel not guilty for not writing.   She’s right, but being a mom is no excuse for not still finding some time for me.

Thursday I listened to a news report on Morley Safer.   The veteran reporter, an original of CBS’ 60 Minutes had passed away.   Being the dork that I am, and always have been, I love news programs and 60 Minutes is one of my favorites.   I had recorded the special from the previous Sunday, which was a story on basically the life of Morley Safer.   I listened to his news reports from Vietnam, how he had once occupied the same desk as Edward R. Murrow (whose reporting from WWII I would love to hear), and got a glimpse of his office at 60 Minutes.   He still used an old typewriter and wrote stories in a manner of Hemingway.   His words were melodic and could put you right into the scene.   You could smell the surroundings just from the words he used.

Years and years ago, my dream was to be a journalist.   I didn’t want to be on television.   No offense to any of my former colleagues, but television reporting is too froo froo.   The story seems to be lost in all of the graphics and commercialization of television.   No, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter.   My idols were Woodward and Bernstein.  I wanted to be a writer, but for various reasons in my life (mostly immaturity and a lack of discipline)I never followed through with that dream, and now it is a regret.

Over the weekend, my husband and I also attended a memorial service for a former friend and teammate.   We were told stories of our friend and how he followed his dreams, at times perhaps with the occasional regret, but he was doing what he loved.   All of this has weighed heavily upon me and while I try to not have regrets, I worry about whether my boys may encounter this.

I go out of my way, sacrificing of myself, to make sure my boys experience everything.   I want them to be able to do everything they want to do, so that one day they don’t wake up and say, “I regret not taking the time.”

For me, I regret not writing for my college newspaper.   I regret not being more involved with the political parties at my school.  I regret not taking the opportunity of a research assistant for a book (which has been published and without me) more seriously.   I regret taking all of these opportunities for granted and thinking to myself, “no worries, Amy, another opportunity will come along.”

My boys are 4 & 2.   Perhaps they are too young for me to worry about taking things for granted.   Perhaps they won’t be like me and just assume that everything will be there tomorrow.   I don’t regret being their mother.   My life may not have been the way I had originally imagined it to be, but it is an exceptional life and not a fantasy.

I may have missed my chance to be the next great journalist or writer.   I may have forfeited an opportunity to write briefs for the State Department, but I have new opportunities presenting themselves daily.

We all have regrets.   Morley Safer said he felt guilty for being gone months on end on assignment while his daughter grew up.   He stopped short of saying he regretted what he had done.   I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be at home with my children as they grow.   I now just need to find a way to still carve out time for me and not beating myself up for what I perceive to be my shortcomings and failures.   They’re all superficial and callous, but they are what make me who I am and there is still a strong sense of determination to at least make my children not experience their regrets to the level I still do

Goodbye, Little Room

For nearly five years, the room has been a home to our boys.  It’s been their room, their nursery.  It’s been the place where they rolled over for the first time, learned to sit on their own, and the bane of my existence on many a sleepless night as my little ones cried out in their first few months in this world.

nursery 6
Starting the nursery.

Five years ago, my husband and I began the process of turning one of our guest rooms into a nursery.   When we set out to create the room, neither one of us were looking for the high end glamour found between the glossy pages of the hundreds of magazines that cater to parents.  No.  We didn’t want something sophisticated or snobbish.   We wanted fun.   We wanted a children’s room, not a miniature version of our room.  We wanted something that screamed, “a child lives in here,” and full of bright colors and shapes.   So, without knowing the sex of our first child, we started on one of our first adventures down parenthood lane.

nursery 5
The finished wall.

We chose a white bed just so we could match it with a dresser and nightstand that we already had.   And then going with the most gender neutral of themes, as well as something I knew my husband would like, we decided to turn the room into a nautical adventure.

Nursery 2

One wall became a sea and sky, with various sea life decals along with the sun, clouds, and a few sea gulls.   From that point forward, we just accessorized and within a few weeks, not only did we know we were having a little boy, but also Captain Davey’s cabin was complete aboard the S.S. Doser.

Nursery 1
The nursery is slowing becoming no more. 

 

From the start, I sat in the floor of the room, breathing in the tranquility and imagining what our lives would be like.   I read to Davey as he kicked in my belly, told him stories about his room, what it was like and how much I knew he would love it.   I would lie on the floor and romanticize about my happy little home and family, my little baby toddling around.   I planned out his first 18 years of life lying on that floor.   It was the greatest room in the house and I never wanted to leave.

Nursery 3

Davey, and my husband and I, enjoyed nearly two years in that room.   Two years of sleepless nights, of stories, of rocks in the rocking chair, of sleeping on the floor while Davey held to my hand just so he would feel safe.  We had two years of more memories than I ever thought possible.  Then Henry came along, and the cabin became the quarters of Captain Henry.  Another round of sleepless nights followed, along with afternoons of his big brother watching over him while he napped.   Dixie even managed to sleep in front of the crib some days, ever the Henry’s protector.   Now, nearly 2 & 1/2 years later, this little square room of bliss and memories, is soon graduating up as we turn the nursery into Henry’s big boy room.

Nursery 4

This afternoon, I began the painstaking process of taking down decorations, removing books, and taking down curtains.   I’ve started patching holes where nails and screws once resided.   With each piece of decoration that came out of the room, my heart hurt just a little.   As I began repairing holes, a tear travelled down my cheek, and then I had to stop.   I had to just take this room in again, a room that has served as nothing more than a place for my boys to sleep, and look at it again.   I had to look at each little corner, each little area of the carpet and just as if they were holograms coming forth from my memories, I could see my boys as babies in this room, and I began to cry.

watching over
Davey the protector.

I never thought it would hit me this hard.   I never thought that removing baby items would hurt the way it has.   Truthfully, I’m a bit nervous as to how I’ll be on Saturday when the crib comes completely down and a new queen size bed sits in its place.  This is a chapter that is quickly closing in our lives.   It saddens me and yet excites me at the same time.   What new adventures will await us?   What sort of mischief will be caused by Henry once he has his big boy room in place?   And just like five years ago, I find myself sitting on the floor of the nursery, it’s pitiful, naked, saddened state, and wondering what will our lives be like next year?

While the walls of the room may still stand tall and strong, I feel as if we are saying, “goodbye, little room.  Just like your inhabitants, it’s time for you to grow.”