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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Out the door they go

The beginning of this school year elicits a lot of emotions for me. It's my teenagers last year of high school, my two middle children's first year of an organized classroom and the baby's first time in daycare on a regular basis. On August 7th, my oldest baby headed off to the 12th grade, the other two will begin headstart some time this week and the baby will make new friends at in-home daycare.

(Here's Amber getting ready for her first day of her senior year.)

A couple of years ago I thought about this year and I got a little teary-eyed. It seems like yesterday that my oldest daughter went to pre-K wearing tights, jumpers and modeling cute braided hairstyles. I can even remember the ponytails she wore to middle school. Now, I look at her with her colored, blond/light brown bob, her stylist jeans and lugging heavy, college-level books and I marvel at the young lady that has grown-up right before my eyes.

I'm not teary anymore... I am amazed. In awe of this young adult and the excitement that comes with experiencing the last year of high school. I intend to make the most of it as we continue to enjoy our closeness and the ups and downs of this wonderful and expensive time.

(That's Amareah & Andre modeling their backpacks.)

However, when May rolls around I can't promise that I won't be balling like a baby as I watch her receive her diploma. We'll have made it - reached a goal! Then I'm sure my attention will be diverted as two of my other children reach their milestones: writing their names without assistance, counting pass 20, coloring within the lines and demanding that they know everything and can do it all "by myself." I'm also sure my baby will run to play with her friends when she's dropped off without a backward glance to me.

I'll start the whole process again: braids, tights, jumpers, ponytails, Parent/Teacher Association, school plays then independent children who'll dress themselves in the stylish jeans and lug the books their sister did before them. It makes me realize that this is one of the things that parenting is all about: helping them reach milestones, dressing for the occasion (right down to their underwear!) and enjoying the time as we're doing it.

The first day of school, and everything that comes with it, floods me with memories of the past and expectations of the future. Indeed, this will be the most memorable school year yet.
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