Friday, September 16, 2011

The beginning of an end

This year I made all the kids stand in front of the house for a first day of school pic. The last few years it's just been either the two youngest, or sometimes the three youngest girls, since the kids are spread out at 3 different schools, all with different start times. Which means there's no way everyone's hair is ever going to be "ready" at the same time, not to mention the inevitable cries of, "Mom, I'm not in kindergarten!"

At first, the older ones did not want to join the photo op. "I don't have time!" (What? You've had all summer to get ready, what are you talking about?!)...

Until I reminded them: "This is the last time I get to take a pic of all five of you on the first day of school."

Yep, Allie, now 18, is a senior. I thought I would be so excited, and I am. We are looking at colleges and making plans for the time (How can it be this soon?), when she leaves home.

But I've also been shocked at what an emotional basket case I've turned into. I did not expect it to hit me so hard. It seems like we're just getting to the good part. Allie is somehow turning out to be this amazing young woman, in spite of being our firstborn "guinea pig." The other kids are growing up, and we are enjoying them so much. The craziness that has defined our family - something I've come to love at the same time it's made me insane - is about to change. I want to hold on - savor the moment - just a little bit longer.

The kids eventually all gathered on the porch and then lined up obediently, even acted like they liked each other, and smiled.

My heart is bursting! Don't cry, don't cry! It's the first day of school!

Then of course (in typical Raising Five family style) the battery on the camera was dead [Heaving sighs here as I look for another camera. Also dead.].

Now I am asking who has a phone I can use.

So I am stuck with a camera phone picture to remember this moment in time...It's a little blurry, but I suppose that's how I will always remember it, looking through my tears.

Here's the post about when our oldest became a teen.
And when I realized our middle child was growing up.
And when our youngest was finally out of diapers, and was the last preschooler.
And the end of the parenting honeymoon.


Brenda said...

Gosh everyone is so big! Tell me your son put shoes on before school. :)

Julie said...

Sweet post. I am right there with you. Our oldest left for college this year. I was happy and sad at the same time:)

Maureen said...

Bitter sweet isn't it? I had the same feelings when my oldest graduated. Last year my it was daughter. I did not want her to be done with high school!! Our first day of school pic only had three kids in it... sniff sniff. For some reason my 18 yr old didn't want me to take her picture on her first day of college lol! (She stayed local). I can't believe how grown your kids look! I hope you enjoy every moment of this year.

All my best,
p.s. so good to hear from you.

Jenn said...

You absolutely made me read this through blurry tears. Maybe because I understand. How did our "babies" become 18 year old young adults looking at colleges?

It probably doesn't help, but I've been a basket case about it with Brandon, too. (With one in the top grade at each school they attend, I am teary a lot!) Just a little longer, please. It slips by too quickly.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you were able to capture this moment despite the lack of fully-charged cameras. =)

Jennibell said...

Beautiful. Thank you for reminding me how fast time flies.

Aimee said...

I'm trying so hard not to cry right now. I have a 4 year old and a 19 month old and I'm already an emotional basketcase thinking about our 4 year old starting kindergarten. I almost hyperventilate thinking about her graduating high school. God will get this through me, right. RIGHT??

Vickie said...

This post made me cry! In August our baby-Hannah was the ONLY one in the back to school picture out of the four children we have. The boys have all graduated and are in college. Hannah did not want to take the picture since her brothers were not going to be in it that day. It was gut-wrenching for both of us. I remember taking the first back to school picture in the fall of 2007 when our oldest had moved on to college. Your words resonated with me and how I felt then. Blessings!

Ginger said...

Oh! It was so good to catch up with you! I haven't checked in here for a while. THIS busy/wonderful/madness is our happily ever after - you said it so well, the craziness that defined us and that I love, that also drives me insane - I can TOTALLY identify with you on that. Blessings on your new school year and changes that it may bring. HUGS!

Debbie said...

Oh Katherine, thanks for posting this. How beautiful they all are! We hit a milestone of sorts here. My oldest started high school (14),#2 is in 7th (almost 13), #3 is in 4th (10), and baby is in preschool(4). Oh my! It has been unbelievably busy and crazy and all my friends wonder where I am. I try to explain, but...
Enjoy this time. It flies, doesn't it?