More than usual, I've tried my best to slow down, enjoy the journey, and soak up as much as I can of my soon-to-be-Kindergartner during her final week of summer. She's ready to leave the safety net we've created at home, I know she is. But I will miss her so much it makes my throat tighten to think about it. Little things have more meaning than they ever have. Things like Frances’s after-nap hot chocolate routine. Even during these hotter than average dog days of summer, my girl likes a soothing cup of cocoa to wake her up and transition her into the afternoon. Once Kindergarten gets here, along with its allure of no more nap time, that routine ends. One more chapter closing, many more to come and go—the heartbreaking reality that is parenting.
I’ve found myself touching Frances more this week. Reaching out to kiss her sweet, always slightly sweaty head, caress her arm, or just hold her hand. I know that this time next week, she won’t be around for me to do that whenever I get the urge. Her physical closeness these last 18 months has spoiled me rotten. Just like most people who know her, I need my Frances “fix” often and being away from her for eight hours a day all at once and all of a sudden will undoubtedly be a tough detox.
The separation will be particularly difficult on George, who shadows Frances’s every move (sometimes to her dismay). They are as close as I have ever seen two siblings—high energy play, high energy fights, and high energy love. But George is ready for next week, too. He needs some one-on-one time with me. He’s an extraordinarily independent boy who loves to play by himself while I piddle around the house. He flocks to other children on the playground, forgetting to be shy when Frances isn’t there to remind him. I’m excited to see him blossom in his new preschool; to discover other ways he is both similar to and different than his sister.
So, until next Tuesday morning, you can find the three of us (and Daddy, this weekend!) enjoying as much as we can of each other and the outdoors. Next week will be good for all of us—yes, even this blubbering writer—but just like most “good for us” tonics, the first few swallows will be tough to get down.
Happy Thursday, everyone!