A Last Day

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We missed the last week of school last year because we were out of town so the end didn't feel like it ever came... I realized that this morning as I felt myself pull back from the moment with an unfamiliar jolt, like, wait.. this feels different this year. It feels very sad. (I feel like I'm always writing about milestones and feeling sad. Is that grating? I apologize if it is.)

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.


I started to lose it on the way out the door, with the twins in the window and Archer talking about Murphy's Law and Fable doing pirouettes down the sidewalk. This is the last time our mornings will look like this, I thought. All markers make me feel things very hard and while with four children there have (and will continue to be) many lasts/firsts/days like today, it doesn't make any of this easier, just... more... dense?

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."



Parenthood is a twisted bra strap that needs to be readjusted constantly. Sometimes it falls down in the sleeve. This analogy is kind of odd, but at the end of the day, twisted and stretched out and falling through the sleeve, it's the support that matters, not the perfect fit. None of us are perfect fit bras. It's such a myth that one even exists. I have been fitted for bras a thousand times and none of them have ever fit me perfectly. Bodies change. Mine does on the daily... Nothing is the perfect fit.

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/third grade
first day of TK and 3rd grade 
photo 3 Last day of TK/3rd Grade
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Fable starts kindergarten next year which is going to feel a lot like this year (TK), but Archer will be a fourth grader in the fall. A FOURTH GRADER! So much has changed since the first day of 3rd grade and I'm still wrestling and wrangling with the newness of it all -- learning how to parent this new child, recalibrating everything I have ever known to be true about him and myself in the process. Fable is an older, more learned version of the girl she was when she started school, but she's still Fable. She still wears rainbows in her hair...  (She told me the other day that she wants to design dresses when she grows up because she wants to be close to people's hearts. She wants to make the fabric that touches the skin that goes over the heart part.)
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Archer doesn't want me to walk him to class this morning but Fable asks me to please stay with me, Mama, so for as long as is appropriate, I stay. I am crying like an insane person but so is her teacher so I feel better about things.

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.