Yesterday, I was talking to Cole about the upcoming start of school (he tackles the 6th grade this year) and I was asking him how much he remembered about his very first day of school.
Turns out, very little. So I started to tell him one of the sweetest stories I remember from that momentous occasion, and I realized that the only reason I really remembered it is because I wrote it out in complete detail on a scrapbook page.
I hadn't even thought of this memory for years, and yet it was right there, ready to be recalled as I shared the story with Cole.
Of course, this led to pulling out the page itself and ending up in a big old hot mess of tears as I'd forgotten the other part of the story: the regret I felt for all the times I distracted my one and only baby boy so I could send one more email, or get one more page designed, or check one more thing off of my to-do list.
Memory, love, regret and truth. That's the stuff of my life I want to remember. All sweet, and some bitter.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go replenish the Kleenex supply.
Here's to stories we remember.
(Click on layout to see it larger. From my book, Clean & Simple Scrapbooking: The Sequel.)
JOURNALING READS: Since the day you arrived, I've let you go at your own pace. No charts or measurements or new word counts. No concerns about when you should be doing this, or that. I quit my job to enjoy being your mother. There were no rules, and no limits. Just you—glorious you—and time.
So why is it, that on the eve of the start of Kindergarten, I'm feeling like somewere along the way, I broke my end of the deal? Somewhere between scrapbooking and finding a new career direction, did I distract you one too many times with the T.V., or a new toy, or your box of Legos? Did I have to send one more e-mail, scrap one more assigned page, or meet one more deadline?
On more than one occasion during the past year, I've said how cool it's going to be when you are in school as an all-day friend. Oh, the work I'll get done! No more late nights and weekends. I can focus on being a mom the minute you walk in the door. I can't help but feel like that focus should've never shifted. Not from the minute your precious, irreplaceable soul landed on this earth. And I can't go back.
Tonight, your tears came fast and furious when I tucked you in. You didn't want to go tomorrow. The day would be too long. You didn't want to go to music class. You wouldn't be able to finish your lunch before the bell rang, so I shouldn't pack you more than three things to eat. And as I tried to comfort you, and Aidan was offering her support as well, it just came out, in one soulful, sob-choked burst: "I'm going to miss my Mom."
It was like an arrow to the heart. And I couldn't hide it from you. In all my imaginings, I never, ever thought I would hear that from the little boy who's been pushing the limits all summer long. Who's fought every bath. Who's been doing things his own way. Who's been asserting his growing independence.
I never stopped to think about the fact that he was going to miss me.
I wish I could bring back every peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and read you more stories, and play catch and baseball, and go for bike rides and all that stuff that is what becomes memory in a six-year-old mind.
I hope you know, Coley, how much I love you.
How I hope. How I hope.
I'm going to miss my son.