As seasons and the whole time moving forward thing tend to do, this Fall came without my permission. At the end of the summer, I longed to freeze the days before kindergarten, and found myself grieving moments of my little boy’s barely-five-year-old self while he was still being his barely-five-year-old self.
I was anxious about him attending a new big-kid school and nervous about whether he’d find the courage and confidence to speak up and reach out and do all of the things that can be hard for all of us, but are often even harder for him.
Not that I’ll ever not worry about him, but mostly I realized that wanting time to go more slowly doesn’t make it so, and that the only solution is to find magic and connection in the rightnow. And mostly, I did that. Mostly, I’ve been doing that.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I realized that October is already almost over and I started to think the things that make the too-quickly passing time pass too slowly. Things like “I hate it when it’s dark outside by 6:00 pm,” and “How am I ever going to get all of the things I need to do done?” and other crappy thoughts like “I’m not ready to pull out my too-tight jeans and sweaters and I am not buying new clothes just because I lack willpower and weight loss,” and “I suck for lacking willpower and weight loss.”
I remembered how I felt at the end of this summer and reminded myself that for all of the lost days already behind us, that there are very likely billions of magical smiles ahead of us and with us rightnow righthere today. So, I’ve been focusing on remembering how much fun crowded sticky loud pumpkin festivals and Halloween fairs and celebrations are.
And this, you guys, is my thankful.
I chaperoned Tucker’s kindergarten field trip to a big pumpkin farm, complete with fresh apples, an awesome hayride, and hay bale tunnels to climb in and towers to jump from.
Instead of letting the “How am I ever going to get all of the things I need to do done?” rule my schedule, I told myself that walking to the local fire station* with a classroom of kindergartners is way more important than all of the other things because it’s a first and a last and someday, Tucker won’t be thrilled to hold my hand in front of his classmates.
And mostly, I’ve remembered to be thankful. Because even though Tucker’s sick, he’s not so sick that he has a fever or that we can’t do things and he’s definitely not the kind of sick that requires a carpet steamer, towels, or hastily grabbed buckets in the middle of the night. He’s not so sick that we had to miss Air and Scare (because airplanes and spooky stuff in the same spot!).
I even managed to not get totally bummed out when Tucker avoided the larger-than-life-sized Stormtroopers (HI TWIN DADDY SCOTT!!) and Darth Vader. At home, he loves these guys. They are key players in every spaceship and airplane game and the treasured Lego bad guys for Batman and Spiderman to teach to be gentle and to be kind. I knew he’d love to see a photo of himself posing with these guys, but it wasn’t happening as obviously they are more terrifying at 6’5” tall than their Lego versions are.
He was awesome in other stuff. Stuff I thought he wouldn’t like because it requires interaction with an adult and science talk and pushy, loud, bump-into-you kids. Stuff like seeing what happens to a marshmallow without a spacesuit in the vacuum that is outer space. Stuff like seeing liquid boil in that vacuum but still feeling cool to the touch.
He even managed to not throw a fit when we told him that the lines to ride the simulators were too long. And ya know what? As we were getting ready to leave at closing time, and the crowds were thinning out, we saw a Stormtrooper, all alone. And Tucker decided he wanted a photo with him after all. I’d say he totally rocked his badass tough-looking self next to this guy.
Maybe, next year, we’ll even get to touch Darth Vader’s light saber. Or not. And that’s okay, too. Because really, as I keep reminding myself, and will continue to do over and over and over forever if I need to, all of the things are okay. All of the days that are both sucky and full of magic, sometimes all at once, are ours, and there are more and more and more of them to come.
So thankful, you guys. So thankful.
Plus, this photo:
* Side note to parents out there: one thing that I thought was REALLY cool and had never considered talking to my son about is this. A fireman got all dressed in his gear in front of the kids, which they loved. Then, another fireman went on to explain that even though Fireman Mike (the dressed up guy) looked and sounded scary (like Darth Vader with his 02 mask on) that if they were ever scared at home, and they saw a scary looking guy like that come in and maybe even be crawling on his knees, to remember that he’s a fireman under all of the gear and that he was there to help. He said “please don’t hide from us even though you’ll want to. Please yell out “I’m over here! if you can.”). Awesome.
This is a Ten Things of Thankful post. And you know what else I’m thankful for? Do you guys know my awesome friend Zoe?If you don’t know who she is, well she’s amazing and wrote this Our Land post… after writing this one... So I won this amazingly beautiful book from her site recently. Handmade paper. Handmade love. I don’t think I could ask for more.
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