Fable wasn't sad.
She doesn't really get sad but Archer is like me. He gets... emotional. He gets angry when he feels... change. I see myself in him on mornings like today. His distance makes me feel closer to him if that's possible. I know that feeling. I've been there. I get it...
Bo and Revi are wearing their backpacks when they kiss the big kids goodbye and I realize that this is it for them, too. In the fall, all four will wear backpacks out the door... all four will likely be late to class... (I have no idea how I'm going to pull off getting all four to school on time in the mornings. I'm already laughing at the thought.)
"I go to school, too?" Bo asks.
"WE GO TO CLASS, NOW, TATA!?" Revi says.
"Not yet," I say.
"No, but soon."
"Soon, soon," Tamara says.
Tamara leaves us at the end of this month to work elsewhere. The twins will be in school full time so her tenure with us must end, which has been emotional for all of us to deal with... Tamara, like me, is a crier and she loves my kids like I do. I know she does.
The love and the pain and the extreme heat/cold of those pivotal moments do not become diluted... they just multiply. I will let you go, I promise, but first, let me hug you a little bit longer. I'm not ready yet...
Fable wears her rainbow dress to school today and her rainbow backpack and her rainbow rubber bands. She writes her teachers letters in rainbow cards and gives them the two sides of her BFF necklace because they are both my best friends. She collects flowers on the sidewalk as we slowly make our way toward school.
"Come on, Archer."
"You okay, dude? What's up?"
"Have a great last day of school. I love you."
I may at times be twisted, tangled, falling down the sleeve... but damnit, I will support you! I WILL SUPPORT YOU EVEN WHEN I'M STRETCHED OUT AND SHOWING IN A WAY THAT IS EMBARRASSING TO YOU! I'M SORRY IN ADVANCE ABOUT THAT!
On their first day of school, I wrote this:
...And then the door closes and the kids are all inside and all of us parent-folk just kind of stand there because we don't feel comfortable leaving right away and it's all very teenagers-hanging-out-in-the-711-parking-lot-because-what-else-is-there-to-do-on-a-friday-night...ish.
I could type the same of today. This, too:
Fable looked so much older today which is I guess what happens when uniforms are put on and hair is changed for special occasions. (She wanted to wear her hair back in a ponytail and she chose to wear four clips instead of twenty and all the necklaces she picked out to wear today were left hanging on the doorknob where the light was left on. Again.) It's wild to compare photos of first days on the same playground with different children. Archer and Fable are so different from one another. They're opposites, really. It's kind of like repeating all of the same milestones except upside down and in a completely different language -- the way they introduce themselves to teachers and shake hands with peers and go down slides and lay out their clothes...
I was thinking this morning about what I struggle with most, beginnings, endings... and then I realized they're the same thing. We measure our lives by the moments that begin and the ones that end. The births and the deaths and the firsts and the lasts... and any time one of them occurs, even if you can see it coming from a mile away, it still stings. It clobbers and it throbs and it reminds and it confuses and it breaks apart the days with its hour-glass fists and in the wake, we all stand, hands crossed, sunglasses on, trying to hide our eyes from the children who bounce off the walls in their rainbow dresses and push us away with their departure.
first day of TK and 3rd grade
Last day of TK/3rd Grade
It's hard for everyone, this stuff...
Fable pulls at my dress when she sees what is happening behind my sunglasses.
"Don't cry, guys. We're watching Frozen today! It's going to be awesome!"
...Okay, so, almost everyone.