I remember staring down at this little blonde headed girl as we were about to get the school day started and thinking, "I can't do this anymore." Her shining hair, always worn in two long braids, grabbed the sunlight and brought tears to my eyes as I faced the inevitable.
I was tired. Tired of getting places on time. Of meeting the demands of others. Of fighting this strong little being at the end of each day when she was worn out from performing her best for others all day long.
We were going to have to home school. Maybe, at home, we'd have time to get to know each other better. She'd have time to do her thing, and somewhere in there we'd fit in some education. Maybe, at home, we'd get the best of each other.
We made it five years.
Now I stare into the face of this young woman who is tall enough to look me in the eye, and I tear up because once again, I'm tired. It is time for me to surrender my baby girls and turn the page on a new chapter, with adventures and struggles of its own.
We've come to the end of a sweet season, and as we transition into traditional school, with its schedules and homework and peers, I am in a kind of fog. It's a combination of Senioritis - an exultant "WE'RE DONE!!!" coursing through my psyche, and mourning. I think of all of the things we did together and I'm sad because those free spirited days of let's-go-to-the-beach-and-call-it-school are coming to an end, but then I remember all of the things I was too tired/busy/sick/mad to do - little things, like "History" and "Science" - and I do a happy dance as I shake those things off my plate and onto a third party who gets the blame if they score poorly.
I'm clearing out shelves of curriculum, books upon books that we grew out of without ever getting to, watching my best intentions get packed into boxes marked "eBay." I'm mentally making plans for school hours - what do people do all day? I'm thinking about how life will be with just a three-year-old at home all day. Mommy-and-me...have we missed that window?
It's a funny season...being actively stripped of identity after identity, watching tightly held responsibilities loosen themselves from my grip and float away. Enjoying the rest, but wondering what I'm being prepared for is a little unnerving. For now, I'm thinking God knows I'm going to need every bit of energy available to parent a middle school girl.