Tonight my son graduated from Preschool. It’s amazing how fast time goes by. It’s funny, actually. Sometimes I feel like the day will never end. Other times I look up and wonder how it is possible that this baby that was born yesterday will be registering for Kindergarten tomorrow. And my daughter wants “high heels” and lip gloss, giggles with her friends about boys and seems to grow before my very eyes. The truth is, time is flying by and sometimes I think my husband is missing it.
Like I said, tonight was Preschool graduation. It seems silly, in a way. I mean, what are they graduating from? But it’s a big deal for my son and a real milestone. Next year he heads to the big school and it won’t all be singing and finger painting. My husband decided to try to go to a meeting before the program started so he told Patrick he’d meet him there. And he was there, I’ll give him that. But his meeting was still going on so very shortly after the program was over he left again. So he missed the good parts, the parts where our son talked about his day and his favorite things about Preschool. The parts that don’t happen during an official program but happen instead when he’s putting on his pajamas and getting tucked into bed.
We’ve also been talking about what kind of after-harvest vacation we’ll take this year. Already we are leaving the planning to much later than I would prefer but at least he’s talking about it. I would have liked to plan it out a year ago but Chris is hesitant to do that usually. So we’re talking about it now. But he doesn’t want to commit to dates. Instead, he says, “why don’t we just fit it in as soon as harvest is over.” But the problem is that just makes me feel like we’re something he just “fits in” to his life.
I feel like these are the years. Helen is almost 8, Patrick is 5. I realize that they are still young but soon, so soon, they will be pre-teens and then teens, kids with so many other things in their lives. Kids with summer camps and jobs and other things taking their attention. These are the years we really get. And these are the summers they will remember. Because when I think of great family vacations I think of road trips and camping trips when I was 7-8-9-10…before my summers became about hanging out with my friends and boyfriends and all the other things. These are the years and I feel like he’s missing them.
Can I tell you the truth? Sometimes, when I’m thinking about the “what’s next” questions, I’m thinking about the quiet years that are coming. The years when it will just be me rattling around in this big old house. And if my husband can’t make plans and take time for his children, he likely won’t be taking time for me. So what will I be doing then? Maybe my “what’s next” questions aren’t as much about what to do next year when the kids are both in school full time as they are about what happens when they spread their wings and fly out of my little nest.