Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ending / Beginning

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

"Closing Time" by Semisonic

Right now I sit at my writing desk in the bedroom, typing on the laptop. If I turn to my left I can see our backyard. I see the pool and a lump grows in my throat.

Today was Arlo's second day of preschool. Yesterday was hectic, trying out the new schedule of getting myself and the two little ones dressed, fed, and out the door to preschool by 8:30 am. I stayed with Arlo for most of preschool yesterday to bridge the transition. Yesterday I was too busy to reflect. Today, I left him smiling at preschool and now I have what I've dreamed about for so long - a silent house (toddler at preschool and infant Elsa is napping) and some space for writing my book. And time to reflect.

So why the lump in the throat? Because we're in transition. Transition from summer to fall, transition from baby to preschooler, transition from myself as the full-time caregiver for Arlo to something a little less. It's a wonderful thing. It's such a relief to think that he will have other adult influences besides his father and me. (I don't know how homeschooling stay-at-home moms do it - the pressure to give so much to your child would be enormous.) But it's also sad in the way that changes are a bit sad, such as moving away from your college town after graduation or leaving one job for another.

As I look at the pool I think about how almost every day this summer, after putting Elsa down for a nap, Arlo and I would jump into the pool and swim and play for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, we'd snack on popsicles or cheese and crackers, and when Elsa would wake up we'd head to a park for a picnic lunch and playtime before the afternoon nap. The cool breeze outside and the start of preschool are manifestations of the impermanence of daily life.

This exciting new beginning - autumn, preschool, personal space for writing - is exciting and beautiful - but it does come at the expense of the ending of our glorious summer together and the babyhood that allowed it to be so.

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