September 12, 2016.
Something amazing happened this morning. My three daughters got on the school bus together for the first time. To go to the same school. My former school.
A milestone. A moment.
They were happy as they climbed on and Husband and I stood on the sidewalk and waved goodbye, squinting in the September sun.
Back inside, I settled at my kitchen island with my computer. In pure, edifying, unsettling quiet, I stared at the screen. My coffee was cold and I felt many things. Grateful. Baffled. Sad. Happy. Too many things to count or name, all tangled together.
How can this be? My three babies are no longer babies. I know that this is an utterly cliched thing to say, but oh is it coming from a true place within me. I remember each of their arrivals with a piercing clarity, their welcomes to the world, and today they went off, with each other, without me.
And? This is wonderful. Exactly as it should be. And yet my pride and gratitude are limned with a slippery, sweet sense of loss too. Time is passing. We are all growing. Apart and together, together and apart. And, my goodness, I feel it, in spades today, that enigmatic, magical, melancholy it that defies articulation, that remains, and essentially so, something of a mystery.
And so. They are off to the races. And I am here. In my own life. Pondering the season to come and the one that will soon come to a close. Summer was grand in so many ways, riddled with deep family time, with love and laughter and sunshine and ice cream, so much ice cream. We took trips and we stayed home. We soaked up the rays and the days, and they have passed.
And now: we all begin again.
A confession at the beginning: I lost my voice a bit this summer. I don’t know how this happened and yet I know exactly how this happened. It was intentional and accidental. I took a break from this place, from writing, from my little corner of selfhood and inquiry, and I invested in my babies and everything else. And there was a curious satisfaction in doing this, but I also felt moments of being at sea, of resentment and anxiety and anger, of longing for the blank page, for story, for myself.
Last night, we were in the car home after a glorious marathon day of travel soccer and I had a thought. My thought was this: That’s it. I am back to the happy grind tomorrow. I am back to Me. The thought filled me with exhilaration and I smiled and took the picture above. It occurred to me that life, even the best life, is full of moments of lostness and found-ness, how losing ourselves, even for a moment or a summer, makes the re-finding that much more brilliant.
And so. Today. Words. Bits of self scattered on a beloved screen.
And so. Today. Three little girls, exquisitely loved, on a small yellow bus bound for a great school and great year.
I’m happy and humbled to be here again. I have so many stories to tell, so many questions to ask, so many truths to tell. In time.
Before I go, here they are, my Rowlets, my sweet petites, doing a little silly sister jig before getting on the bus.