K went back to school Monday, happy to see her friends, but sad that summer was over. We had such a great summer. K went to orchestra camp and VBS and volunteered at the library, and we all hung from ropes 20 feet in the trees and played with tamarinds and had friends over and went to the pool and watched Doctor Who... But mostly we hung out at home together, just the three of us.
Every summer seems to have a theme for us, last year it was swimming, one year it was drawing, another year it was whooping cough and hula hoops, that was an odd one. This summer it was sticks and string: bows and needles and yarn.
K moved up from a 1/4 size to a 1/2 size base and she had to relearn how to play. It was frustrating, but she really worked at it and came out of her orchestra audition last week with a big smile.
"It was easy ! And they knew it was me (it was a blind audition) because at the end Mr. F said That was Excellent Ka... Uh... Great Job!"
And we all survived a summer of archery, in 100 degree weather. We learned to hydrate before you leave the house, and start the next bottle of water as soon as you finish the last. And we bought K a new full length arm guard, after she bruised herself so badly, her doctor at her well visit, documented all her bruises and asked her if she felt safe at home. "Oh yeah, but I have to learn to hold my arm better when I shoot." It was fun watching the doctor's face as she explained.
And we knitted and crocheted and made friendship bracelets till our wrists hurt. I taught K to cable knit, right after I taught myself, and we made owl dishcloths. They were an easy first project and she loved it. I made first a trial pair and then started a pair of Rose's fingerless mittens for a private swap. Right hand done, left to go.
And then it was the first day of school. She packed up all her supplies, stood in the same spot we have been taking her picture since she was in Kindergarten, hopped into the car with Mr. Man and let us kiss her goodbye. As they drove a way she took one look back, and smiled.
She had a great day, all her friends are back and a few new kids. Her favorite teachers were all there and the a/c was almost all working. She had homework, but it wasn't too much and she had stories to tell and was looking forward to the next day.
Motherhood is tough. If you do your job right, one day, on the right day, your child will take one look back, smile, and go.
They will be happy and healthy and ready to live their own lives. They will send pictures and emails from tiny dorm rooms and apartments. They will call in tears and giggles with tales of joy and woe. They will visit on holidays and birthdays and anniversaries. They might move back for a week or a summer or a year, but they will make new homes and new lives and never really return.
I am so proud of the woman K is becoming, and I have years. But I know, that day will be here before I know it. And it will be so sad, but oh so good.
Till then, I'm living and loving every minute.
Best of luck to all in the new school year and in all your new beginnings.