This Necessary Joy

There are lives I can imagine without children, but none of them have the same laughter and noise. (Brian Andreas, Story People)

The house is quiet. Still. Almost eerie.

During the summer I often thought to myself (more resignedly than eagerly), “When the kids are back in school, I will get that organized or cleaned up. I’ll work on their rooms and rearrange and get boxes and neaten things up…

The kids are back in school, and whenever I set foot in one of their rooms, I cry. The army men that would make me so angry when I stepped on them in bare feet… the lego pieces that are strewn through the playroom… the naked dolls waiting for someone to dress them and love them and comb their hair… the bag of balloons waiting to be worked into animals…

How can I put them away?

They are signs of the life we lived this summer.

And what a summer we had! So full of fun and laughter and noise… not a perfect summer–it never is–but a wonderful one where the bucket list was long and the nights ran late and the adventures were joyful.

Yesterday, they set off on a new adventure as they started school again.

I don’t ever want them to think I am glad to be rid of them. I want them to know they are loved and wanted and that I am grateful they are part of this life, this home. But I do want them to know I am glad they are becoming who they are. They need time with their peers, with other adults, with people other than me, and their school is a safe and amazing environment for them to do just that.

They came home after their half day yesterday excited. “This year holds promise,” Ash grinned, as he ate another chicken nugget (our celebratory lunch at Chick-Fil-A).

Promise. I love that word. It’s so full of hope. Just like our futures.

We ran errands and then came home to me fussing about messes and trying to organize where school things would go. We set the table for our traditional back-to-school night dinner of Homemade Lasagna and Salad and Fresh Cantaloupe from our garden, and the kids had us quiz them with spelling and math for the whole meal, Bear’s dimpled grin and Bella’s furrowed brow making us laugh. It fills me with peace–seeing them this way.

As hard as it is for me to let my little arrows fly, it is a necessary joy, and I love where they are going!

Fly strong and straight and true, little arrows, fly high!

“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” (~William Butler Yeats)

2 responses to “This Necessary Joy”

  1. Darling photo. So admire your honesty, Angie.


  2. Ok, so now I’m crying again too. You and I could have shared one post for the 2 blogs for today’s post. My heart is with you! Well said!!


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