The routine is stepping down a notch today and there is change in the air. Big change. The more I sit and write and edit and think, the more tender I'm feeling on this most ordinary of Monday mornings. Such is the meaning of the mundane in the life of a mother.
It's a beautiful morning-cool and crystalline. The temps are low and there is a breeze right now a little after 7 am so it feels delicious outside. My late spring flowers are starting to peak. The hydrangeas are a riot of blue-morphing-into-pink and the tiger lilies are just starting out their month-long parade of orange. The hard winter agrees with the garden-everything is strong and healthy after a good dose of cold forced them to really sleep and rest.
Seminary is over and Sam has a job. So, instead of Sam and Sara leaving together at 5:50 am, now they go their separate ways at 6:55 or so-Sara to the bus with her purse and her books on her arm and Sam to work in the summer job world of Pest Control, dressed like a real man in thrift-store Carhartt work pants and boots and carrying a lunch cooler. They left in the full light of a risen sun instead of the pale, ending darkness, so everything just feels different.
It gave me a strange pang to see Sara walk down the street alone with the morning light making a halo of her thick, honey-colored hair. She looked suddenly so very grown-up, so lovely and graceful. I've been hanging onto her very hard, not wanting to let her get big, I think hoping for more second chances to have a better relationship with her, wishing I could go back and tuck her little-girl self into my lap and tell her again that I love her so much. But today she stepped out alone. Maybe our brightest days will be in our second life as mother and daughter-when we're both grown-ups and she realizes that even my clumsiest attempts at mothering her were borne of love. I have glimpses of that, even now.
Today also means that the years of Evan and I having our hour together in the mornings are over. We'd read together or just joke around or even watch a little tv. Now his leaving comes fast on the heels of the other two, so today we had just enough time for a goodbye. In the fall, he's off to high school and my house will be empty before 6 am every day.
This one day really does mark another leap for our family, so I'm going to go ahead and let the tenderness come. I think I need it. I'm feeling more real, more myself than I have in weeks.