Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mama's melancholy smile

The morning started smooth and easy, a familiarity to the long-forgotten routine of showers, lunches, and backpacks. It was maybe an exceptional morning in that they were served a hot breakfast, instead of fending for themselves with the cold cereal and the eggo waffles.

They seemed so comfortable with what lay ahead. No nervous chatter. No endless questions. Their serene state and happy attitudes filled the air like a thick, warm blanket.

Yes, they both answered for the fourth time, they had everything.


The oldest boy politely inquired about exactly where the first-day photos would be taken. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders, embarrassed and slightly worried that he'd hurt his mama's feelings. Knowing the bus stop has been off limits for several years now, she reassured him that all the photos would be taken from afar.

The boys laughed at each other, and hugged their mama tight. Glancing nervously around to be sure there were no witnesses, they posed for the obligatory photos outside.


They turned without another thought and walked to the bus stop, chatting together.

Their mama's heart broke just a little bit.


One boy forgot his schedule and came tearing home to get it with a sheepish grin on his face. His mama laughed and told him to hurry, shaking her head in just that way mamas do when they know they were right.

And then, the big, yellow bus came and took them away. As it seems to do with increasing frequency every year.


The little girl was surprisingly easy to rouse from her sleep. In spite of her pleas to be home schooled forever, she was ushered downstairs and fed a hot breakfast of her own. She moaned and complained, worrying needlessly about lunch table assignments. She debated out loud about various hair styles for the day. She happily slipped into her new clothes.


She sat on the driveway waiting for the bus, not afraid to take the pictures with her mama. She posed in several spots and offered suggestions for the best angles. Her mama smiled, hugged her, and laughed at the little girl who seems to know it all.

They talked for a few minutes, and then in the distance, a familiar rumbling was heard. The squeaky brakes left no doubt that her turn was soon upon them.


She hugged her mama one last time, put on her very best smile, and climbed aboard.

With summer freckles on their noses, excitement in their toes, and melancholy in their mama's heart, they begin another year.



Lauren in GA said...

You write so beautifully. I know I say that a lot but it is so true, Stie. "Their serene state and happy attitudes filled the air like a thick, warm blanket." Oy, so good.

I felt the same way. I am not sure why I cry every year...but I do.

Lala said...

The boys start Monday and I am dreading it. I've been telling myself I need to start talking positively, so they'll be excited, but, they know summer's done, Dad's back to work, And school isn't better than home.

Amanda D said...

You have beautiful children, Christie. School starts here in three weeks and I'm holding on to summer with everything I can.

Jeanelle said...

When and how did your kids get so dang big? No seriously. When and how did this happen?????? I'm dumbfounded.

jen@odbt said...

You are such a great writer. Makes me want to hold on to summer now. It's going to be tough for me this year - for the first time, all three kids will be gone all day. I thought I would be jumping for joy and maybe I will be but for now, I just feel sad thinking about it.

Cares and Mimi said...

My throat is tight and the tears are warm from reading this.I feel the same way, melancholy. And bittersweet. My youngest will be off to school all day, no more preschool. A rite of passage that we are all excited about but, at the same time, chips away at this Mama's heart a bit.

kristen said...

ah man! i know this feeling, i sent my third to kindergarten this year. only leaving two more at home, it's quiet around here. while school keeps us all on a better schedule, i will miss having all my kids at just an arms length away.

love all your photos and text. what a perfect post. enjoy your day.

Julianna said...

School starts in two weeks.

We still have two weeks to squeeze in every ounce of summer time fun known to man.

To bad I have to work 12 of those 14 days.

Elizabeth said...

Your Babies are so gorgeous!!! Good luck for your new school year.

jessica said...

So how in the world do your boys not have back packs? Do they need them? Did they just not need them on the first day? I am so baffled by the no backpacks!

This post is making that pit in my stomach that I have been ignoring move up to my throat. Two and a half more weeks until I'm crying my eyes out.

danandcindy said...