August 12, 2010

Letting Go


Seems sometimes that's all I do. 
Let go.

Of people, places, clothes (this happens continually with 4 strapping offspring), clutter.
It's what is written in the fine print, way at the bottom,  in the non-existent instructions of being a military family.
I should be good at it.


We are getting ready for a new school year.  I've been clearing out books that we have outgrown. Ones that ALL of us have outgrown. Ones that are geared for a younger set.

In 12 years of school preparations, we've always put away and stored the finished set of readers and read-alouds......every year.....for the next one coming up.  We're now done with second grade.  Forever.

Weird.

Last year we got rid of our first grade books.  But somehow this one is harder.  Something happens in third grade.  They suddenly become 'big kids'.  Learning cursive and times tables means we are officially finished with Dr. Seuss'  The Foot Book.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a big kid mom.  I love being able to reason with them and laugh at their humor (and it's really funny) or awe at what they do better than me.  But there's something about time lost spent never to return that is bittersweet. 

I've been going through all these wonderful books  (Have I told you I love books?) that I need to purge.  They bring such smiles to my memory.  Not just with one child, but with all four.
They somehow conjure glimpses in time much like a photo.  Cuddling on the couch.  Science experiments gone awry.  One book in particular I remember my then kindergartner sleeping with at night.  It was Usborne's First Book of Nature.  She is now sixteen and I refer to her as the Biologist.  My son's favorites included anything about cars or big machines, like  How Things Work.  Hours and hours were spent with my now junior high student reading Put me in the Zoo.  Funny how I remember thinking someone was going to have to put ME in the zoo if I have to read this (more like recite it from memory) one more time.  The Lord knew she needed those rhymes, even when I didn't, as soon after we struggled with her reading.  And the youngest, the last, well, I asked her yesterday if she was ready to get rid of all these beginning readers.  She, without hesitation, responded, "Sure Mom, I don't need them any more!"

Sigh.

And so we bid farewell to our old friends with spines and pages that have brought us hours of enlightenment, humored us.......moved with us.  They will go to another home to grace the lives of other children.

Letting go is hard.

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