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.