Wow. Is it really September already? Don't worry, its a rhetorical question, you don't have to answer that. I still love the smell of office supply stores, especially this time of year. It gives me that little excited quiver in my tummy. Every time I walk into Staples, I have to refrain myself from checking out the highlighters, pens, pencils, binders and whatever other cool gadgets they have in those tempting bins lining the aisles. I lived for back-to-school shopping, and even more so, to go home, trade stuff with my brother, and get it all organized. Binders filled and dividers labelled, pencils sharpened, Le Kit stocked up, agenda filled out as much as I could, school bag packed, and first-day-of-school outfit picked out.
As exciting as school supplies were, like most kids, this was a bittersweet time of year for me. I remember one particular late summer evening, sitting at the kitchen table having a drink of water out of a red plastic Tupperware tumbler, staring out the kitchen window, feeling such mixed emotions, I couldn't help myself but cry. I loved the freedom of summer and not having a care in the world (does anyone remember what it was like to feel really, truly, bored?). Yet, I thrived on the routine and the challenge that school and extracurriculars brought.
To me, moving into the next grade was a bigger deal than my birthday. My birthday was in the middle of the school year, so I never really felt any older at my birthday, but, moving to the next grade made you feel so much more mature. In my mind, it meant I was one year closer to being "grown up". However, that also meant I had one less year to figure out who I was going to be, what I was going to do, and where I was going to go. And, being the neurotically, indecisive, compulsive planner that I was (and still am), that fact scared me . . . a lot. How was I going to figure it all out in time? Forget the fact that I was ten years old, I had to have a carefully detailed plan, and time was ticking.
Fast forward 17 years. I actually am "grown up" and wondering where on earth that time went. And, except by the grace of God, I can't even believe how I got here. Sure I had plans, some of which worked out, some of which didn't, and some of which God orchestrated in His own perfect way and not mine, thank goodness. In our crazy, chaotic, lives, at least time is a constant. It doesn't speed up, it doesn't slow down, though at times, we may feel that it does. No matter what happens, time keeps ticking. Our lives keep on going no matter what plans we have. Time makes us wise, time heals us, it grows love stronger, it closes old doors and it opens new ones.
I think, since becoming a mom, I've come to terms more with the fact that I can't slow down time, and I actually look ahead to the future with excited anticipation. Ever since Jonah was a baby, I've always said I can't wait to see him grow up. Everyone told me not to wish away those baby days, but come on, really? I mean sleepless nights, endless diapers, laundry, and spit up? No thanks, I won't be wishing for those days back. The only thing that got me through it was planning for his 1st Birthday. No, I couldn't wait to see Jonah take his first steps, colour a picture, eat an ice cream cone, ride on Daddy's shoulders and hear him say "I love you". I can't wait to see him off on his first day of school and see who he'll become. Will he like sports? Will he be fascinated with science? Will there be an ant farm in his room and planets hanging from his ceiling? Will he love to sing? Will he be sweet or will he be funny? Or maybe both? Will I be endlessing picking up stinky socks, dumping the sand from his shoes, and finding Legos in the laundry? Will he be a momma's boy? I hope so. And I can't wait to find out. I can't wait until he bends over to hug me and I feel his doesn't-think-to-shave-before-he-comes-home-to-visit-at-Thanksgiving whiskers on my cheek and I hear him say " Love you, Mom."
So, bring on the Fall. Bring on a new year. I'm ready and waiting! And, you know that red plastic Tupperware tumbler I was drinking from while wondering how the heck I was going to get here? It's Jonah's cup now.