Thursday, August 25, 2011

Learn To Love It, And Let It Go

"What a happy summer this has been, " thought Anne...and then recalled with a little pang something she had heard Aunt Highland Kitty of the Upper Glen say once...."the same summer will never be coming twice."

Never quite the same.  Another summer would come...but the children would be a little older and Rilla would be going to school...."and I'll have no baby left," thought Anne sadly.  Jem was twelve now and and there was already talk of "the Entrance"....Jem who but yesterday had been a wee baby in the old House of Dreams.  Walter was shooting up and that very morning she had heard Nan teasing Di about some "boy" in school: and Di had actually blushed and tossed her red head.  

Well, that was life.

Gladness and pain...hope and fear....and change.  Always change!  You could not help it.  You had to let the old go and take the new to your heart....learn to love it and then let it go in turn.
 Spring, lovely as it was, must yield to summer and summer lose itself in autumn.  The birth...the bridal....the death....
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Ingleside)

.Isn't that beautiful?  And oh so true.  And dang hard at the same time.

As eager as I am to have the kids out of school for the summer, I am always ready for them to start up again after summer break.  And they, thank goodness, are already to go back too.  I am eager for structure, schedule, organized days, and time to think and talk without interruption (somewhat of course, I still have little Paddy to keep me company).  I think they are ready to learn, to be around friends, for something to fill their days, and honestly, just to learn.

At the same time, I get little panicked feelings-of letting go, of all that change that takes place with a new school year. As my kids have gotten older, oh boy, do I get a sense of nostalgia at this time.

(Isaac and Abbey 6 or 7 years ago)
What I want:
For everything to be the same as it was years and years ago.  Before high school came into the picture, before, by golly, the thought of college came into the picture.

When it was just simple.  When the choices were just peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese, not SAT or ACT, not "let's think about the future and make decisions that can alter the course of your life".

When the school supply lists involved a 24 pack of crayons, not an Ipad.

When I worried about whether the crabby lunch lady would be crabby, not would my son make it safely to school driving in construction during crazy rush hour.

Letting the old go and taking the new to heart-but loving the present, without constantly yearning for the past-that's tricky isn't it?  I do trust that the busy-ness of life, the work of  'mother', usually compels me by sure force into the day, moving forward.  The truth is that present will be past soon enough, and if I don't embrace the change, I miss out on the life that I have opening up before me.

Change is hard.  I know that, I tell myself that, but I still allow myself a little time to be sad and miss the days of old.

37 comments :

  1. I love this!!
    You have so perfectly captured what so many of us Mum's feel about change and letting go and little ones growing up.
    Thank you, it is just beautiful!
    I also think that we need to give ourselves a bit of time to reflect and feel that sadness, because it means that we love what we do as Mums.

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  2. Thank you for always sharing your perspective.. I am enjoying the view!

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  3. So very true! When I put my kids to bed at night I say, "No growing tonight!" But they never listen!

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  4. Makes me want to hold on to our ham and cheese sandwich days. But I love how gracefully you are negotiating these older years. You are a beautiful example and I fully expect to pick your brain as my kids navigate high school and such! xo

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  5. Beautiful! Love it! Thanks for articulating what I have been feeling and also needed to hear.

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  6. Well, I certainly shouldn't read your blog at 1am! I am all choked up and my girls are only 3 and 1 years old! The picture of Isaac and Abbey really got me for some reason... it is so bittersweet to watch them learn and grow and make hard choices (in the case of your children being older and whatnot). I hear all my parents' worries echoing in my head... if only I felt then what I feel now, I probably wouldn't have rolled my eyes so much. Ha. Great post, Sarah. :)

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  7. Sniffle. I feel that too this summer! I just finished a post on my girls at their summer camps and all summer I just kept thinking "I can't believe they are old enough to do all of this! When did they stop being toddlers hanging on my pant legs all day?" It makes me sad, and then I read this and realize I need to stop being sad over the baby years and enjoy these years while their school list still includes crayons.

    But you're right. It's hard. Great post Sarah!

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  8. My oldest son went to college last year and the first couple of times he left I cried a lot. But you get used to it.
    We adopted our youngest children when the boys were in high school already and I am so happy we did, because my husband and I were not ready to be empty nesters yet.
    I wish you a beautiful day!
    Natacha

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  9. I'm sure a lot of mothers can relate to what you wrote. I know I sure did.

    My daughter is moving from Primary school to Intermediate, and I just want to put on the breaks!

    But, you are right...I can't and shouldn't want a sheltered life for her. It's just that I 'KNOW' now....I don't 'KNOW' the next part...and that is kind of unsettling.

    **breath** 'learn to love it and let go' - I will try and remember that as I watch her open her wings and fly :)

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  10. Oh how timely, and spot on as always. Thank you for this beautiful post.

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  11. You stated exactly what I am feeling too. Both of ours are Seniors this year, one high school the other college. I stop and think for a minute and wonder where it all went. But, then I realize trying to take it all back would mean missing out on all they have both accomplished, and I am very proud of the young woman they have become and have no regrets! We are all very nervous and excited about their new phases in life.

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  12. I woke up today reminding myself to just enjoy this first day of school, it will never come again, and try not to grieve the passage of time.
    This post was pretty timely- love it!

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  13. Tears in my eyes. Perfectly stated. Embracing change is one of the hardest things I must do as a mother. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  14. It's the first day of school here to day too. And it's the first day of my son's Senior year. Exciting and kind of sad since he is my last one at home. I'll be taking my last first day of school picture in about 15 minutes. He's not too happy about that but it's tradition!

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  15. thank you for that post. sometimes, i think i'm the only one who is sad to see them go off again to another school year. my oldest starts 7th grade today. i am already thinking ahead to the bigger decisions that change the course of lives.

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  16. Yes! I am right there with you! Motherhood is so bittersweet. I want my kids to grow up, but can't they just stay little???

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  17. Oh, Sarah this is just what I needed to hear this morning. I even teared up reading it because we are in those "simple" days right now, and I'm nostalgic too seeing summer come to an end. It's all about treasuring the moment. Thank you!

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  18. Very well said...written. Oh so true. And oh so sad. I will tell you though, when you get through those high school years...the college years are wonderful. And the getting married years are wonderful. And the having baby years are the best yet! *Come grow old with me. The best is yet to be.* So so true. As you grow old with your children, it only gets better. Not the snuggle in my lap while drinking chocolate milk better, but even so, better. Pray your years ahead are blessed with pure joy!

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  19. i am still in those peanut butter and jelly years and so treasure seeing you sojourn ahead. mothers are brave that's for sure. and that comment from loves being a nonny-- maybe made me get a little choked up. :)

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  20. What a great, heartfelt post. I feel the same way...things become bittersweet and more profound for me (I must be getting old!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

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  21. Amen to that! As my two raced outside after school yesterday to play with friends the wave of sadness from the first week of K finally hit me. I had the urge to listen to "The Gift of an Ordinary Day", again. As I stood over the sink listening I watched them play a game of soccer without any help from me and sobbed and sobbed.

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  22. What a poignant post. I sent my second son off to college last week, and I think that I do in fact need to allow myself a little time to grieve.

    I'm also glad to know there's someone else who is a fan of the later Anne books. I started reading the Anne books when I was 12 years old, but I never read past volume 3 until I was an adult. Now Anne's House of Dreams and Rilla of Ingleside are two of my absolute favorites of the whole series! The best vacation of my life took place when my youngest child was just two months old. We rented a place at the beach for two weeks. My husband took the older boys to play in the sand every day, but I stayed back at the condo with my tiny baby. . . and while he slept, I re-read all eight of the Anne books. It was heavenly!

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  23. And why did I think I was the only one who misses some of the things of the past, the kids growing up too fast, remembering when they were babies. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. What a truly lovely post! My youngest starts Kindergarten this year and my house will be quiet, I'm not sure I'll know what to do without her here all day. My oldest starts 5th grade. I embrace every day as you quoted we don't get this time back.

    Great blog!

    Many blessings,
    Jill

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  25. When I used to go visit my grandmother in the nursing home, I remember seeing that a lot of the old women had baby dolls to hold and cuddle with. It made me so grateful for the REAL baby I had and I would bring him there to see them. They would all but TACKLE me to be able to see him, touch him, smell him. We are SO LUCKY as mothers to have this time in our life!

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  26. I know just what you mean. Yesterday after I dropped my little guy at Kindergarten I cried all the way home. He's not the first. He's my fifth. It doesn't matter that I've done this five times it still hurts to see them go. When I called to cry to my mom she reminded me that yes it feels like your heart is being ripped out when they grow up, but it's worse if they don't grow up. How true.

    This morning as he smiled and waved at me from the bus I felt tender hearted all over again. As I turned to head home I had to scoop my 2 year old up and thank the Lord for letting me have just one more.

    This is the perfect thought for me today. Learn to love it and let it go. Thanks!

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  27. Sarah, I always enjoy your posts, but don't often comment. This one just really hit home. Our youngest started high school last week and I find myself constantly longing for the days when all of my kids were attending our little Catholic school, all safe and sound. At the time life could be frantically busy. But it was a good kind of busy. I loved it.

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  28. Nothing wrong with grieving things as they past, as long as we're willing to let go and embrace the future. Something you seem to do in style. Beautiful post, Sarah.

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  29. Seriously Sarah! Beautiful! Totally amazing post. My sister and I were JUST talking about this. Her oldest is in first grade, youngest just turned 3. She is so melancholy thinking about where the time has gone. I sent her to your post and she was really grateful...for the reminder. You are awesome - and very quotable. Just quoted you on Facebook...of course giving you and your amazing blog credit. Thank you for the inspiration! You fill us up. :)

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  30. Boy oh Boy ~ I just dropped my first born off to college this week.....this was a most timely post! I have been wanting to read Anne of Green Gables but now I know that I must! Great Post!

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  31. I love your blog and I love this post...beautiful.

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  32. Loved this.

    As I watch my last baby take his first steps I am painfully aware of how bittersweet the passing of time can be.

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  33. As a mom of a toddler who had one of those days... Thank you for reminding me that this time in life is going to be desperately missed and to celebrate the now. Beautiful words.

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