Today, I dropped my daughter off at middle school for the last time. Usually, I am in a hurry to fight my way through traffic and rush on to the the next stop. But, this day, I pulled my car over and took a moment to watch her walk inside. As the tears came streaming down my face, I had a flashback to the first day I held her hand and walked her into kindergarten. She was so big that day and so brave. But today, as she jumped out of the car with a plasterboard size card for her favorite teacher, she looked so grown up. When did it happen? Where did the time go? All the struggles, joys, lessons, and memories came rushing back all at once. My little girl was growing up right before my very eyes. I can’t help but keep returning to a mental image of her sitting on the bench so I could snap a photo of her on her first day of school. As she walked to her classroom she didn’t look back. Today, she didn’t look back either. It warms my heart to know we have given her the confidence to fly on her own. I know that little girl is still inside of her, but for me, she seems so far away. It’s like a blur of years that have blown by so quickly with the winds of change. It is one of my moments. A new mental picture that will haunt my mind the last day she walks out of this house, her last day of high school.
Today is such a mix of emotions for me. There are funerals going on for children that won’t have a next day or next year of school. My heart aches as those families bury their young children. I watch the amazing stories of how surviving children and their families are reaching out to help families who lost a child in that school on that haunting day. The stories are beautiful and they touch me deeply.
Today, I will wait by the window for the bus to come. I will watch Chase run towards the house, open the door and yell Hi MOM! Another moment, another mental image that I will store inside my heart. I can’t help but wonder if next year, as he gets off the bus from middle school, things will be completely different. But today, I will bask in our normal and be grateful that at the end of the day, I am blessed that my children will come home to me. Today is a special one, a painful one, a happy one. One I know I will never forget. Tonight, as I turn the page on a school year coming to another end, before I go to sleep, I will peek in their door. Perhaps, I will take a moment to listen to them breathe and watch them sleep. Then tomorrow, I will probably yell at them to clean their rooms. Isn’t that just the way life is? For a moment, we get it. Then the next day we our back to our normal busy selves, missing what’s important, standing right in front of us attempting to grab our attention . We have a lot to celebrate this weekend and I feel blessed. As a family, we are going to spend a few hours finding a way to volunteer. Although it will be difficult, it will bond us as a family and remind us that our community and our neighbors are an extension of our family as well. That is what life is all about. Loving others, appreciating others, helping others and giving them something very precious, our time. And this weekend, in Moore Oklahoma, that is exactly what we are going to do