Monday, May 20, 2024

sunglasses on

We will never get this exact slice of life back again. Not in this shape and this size and this specific flavor. We will never be this age and this way and this exact make up of cells. It will never be this weather on this day in this year at this time. 

This morning I felt the heaviness of change that is rapidly arriving. It’s the first Monday I haven’t substituted in a school because there were no spots available. No part of me wants a day off- a day with just me and a mind that thinks in overtime. 

We finally got the morning drop off nailed for Grey. It only took 6 months. Ha! Some mornings it just took too long to put his shoes back on if he took them off, grab his communication device, take his water out of the cup holder, pick his backpack off the floor and get out of the car. The last time I tried, months ago, he noticed he had the wrong color straw in his water cup, and the conservation about- yes that is upsetting, and no we can't fix it right now took too long and the impatient asphat behind got mad. So I just went back to parking in a spot and walking him up to the entrance where all the Special Education classroom support staff waits for "our" kids. 

Two weeks ago, maybe three-we tried again. What almost 15 year old likes it when their Mom walks them up to school? Not mine. I sure as hell didn't. "Grey- do you want Mom to drive you up and you can walk into school by yourself?" I asked him. The answer has always been a big fat yes

As my car slowly inches forward, I call out reminders. Put your shoes on! Take your seatbelt off! Pick up your words! STOP DON'T OPEN THE DOOR YET! (Luckily that only happened once). I stop, roll down a window and make eye contact with a member of the staff as we watch him cross the street. 

Today I had to wear my sunglasses for the drop off because the tears kept coming. It's the boys' last week of school. It's the basic, mundane parenting jobs that I find the most sacred; things like school drop off and pick up. I know decades pass minute by minute, and its always so fast. It's usually Mr. Smith that sees us first- almost instantly.

Remember when I shared about Mr. Smith here?

Mr. Smith lifts his hand up like a wave, I've always known it's meant one part hello, and one part- I see him, I got him now. When you are usually deeply needed, it's hard to let those reigns go. 

Mr. Smith made it easier. That wave means the world to me.

Sometimes sad swells up like the tide, temporarily overtaking the good parts. You just have to let it move through you. The change. The sadness, the joy, the grief, the fear. It's moving through me today and it's heavy. If you see me this week and I'm wearing sunglasses- you know. 

Parker and I get to his school a little early, like we usually do, and we sit in the parking lot listening to music. He yells at me if I sing or attempt to tap to the beat, like he usually does. 

I watch the kids pour out from the School Bus and funnel to the front of the school. The sunglasses stay on. Parker hears my sniffle and looks at me curiously, this Mom of his who shares his huge joy for the world, but can also share huge sadness.

This school will never be this exact mix of staff and students, I think. New 6th graders will come in, and graduating 8th graders move on to what’s next, and that makes everything different. It’s hard to believe that the machine still moves on without them but it does. We've all been the ones left behind. We've all been the ones to move on. I hold those feelings close.

After Parker is inside, I drive away so slowly, examining the faces as they pass, many who have been in classes I've taught. Sunglasses on. Heart hurting, yet also full.

We can’t call time a thief unless in the very same breath we acknowledge what a gift it is too. I stop and feel gratitude for this day, in this very way it exists right now, tears and all, waiting for the next change.

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