When did all this change happen? Was it in the short moment I blinked my eyes and looked away? How can we possibly be here now?
(James and his grandmother Joyce)
James's graduation day was as sweet as can be. Remember what it felt like to be half way through your education? Still a child yet on the cusp of becoming something more? Remember how significant it was to realize you were more than you thought you were? That your parents trusted and expected you to do bigger things? He's right at that point: moving on from elementary school and preparing for Junior High. He is small and yet so large. He is ready and yet somehow I want to keep him here with me little and mine always.
When I went to pick him up on the last day of school, he was eating lunch with friends at a local restaurant. Surrounded by girls who looked much older than him I could hardly believe that his time to shine and move forward is actually here. As he and his friends sat in the car mentally patting each other on the back for drawing such pretty and older girls to their table, I laughed both inwardly and outwardly at the thought of my little man beginning the journey into noticing girls. How is it that my little boy is old enough to catch the eye of girls? Thankfully he is respectful and in no hurry to have a girlfriend. Rather he prefers the friendships he's developed with both boys and girls. And frankly I'm not quite ready for this phase of his life yet either. And yet I'm so proud of him I could burst. He's becoming such an amazing young man.
(Katelyn graduating with High Honors)
Kate's graduation was glorious. And it should have been. What started with a torrential downpour of rain, ended in bright sunshine. She was giddy and happy and full of light the entire time. Seeing her reach this incredible moment she has worked so hard for her entire life was rewarding for me as well. And while I thought I might spend the day balled up in tears, I discovered I was able to bask with her in her moment. I could be proud and happy and fulfilled right along with her. It was amazing.
Those sad, mournful feelings came only in the final hours of her all-night graduation party as we assisted in the clean-up efforts. As we moved from room to room straightening up, the students slowly made their way through the doors of their high school one final time. Brett and I felt in that moment that we had somehow assisted them in closing this chapter of their life. And both he and I were sad that it is over. That we may not see these kids again. That we won't be walking in the hallowed halls of her high school again for at least three more years. And we realized we aren't quite ready for this time to be over for her or for us.
It's over. It's time. And yet I wonder what changes this year will bring as we prepare Kate for her religious mission and ready James for junior high. I imagine it will be just like the roller coaster ride we've taken so far with ups and downs we will anticipate and some we will have never seen coming.
It's an amazing ride, and I feel priviledged to have spent the time with these incredible kids. How I got so blessed to be their mama I may never know. But I feel more gratitude about being their mom then they might never know. The fact that they love each other this much just makes it even more incredibly worth it.
Onto bigger and better things for all of us!