If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I struggle with the swift passage of time. That, despite the fact that Jules has been in daycare since he was four-months old (and Kai, part-time since he was 8 weeks old), the day next year when he leaves for kindergarten, I will weep. In fact, I may weep for a week (off and on). This sounds extreme, indeed, but if you know me, you know that I an extraordinary weeper.
And if you don't know me, I'll paint you a picture: I cry when I'm sad, I cry when I'm angry, I cry when I'm happy. I sobbed through Julian's baby-room graduation video a few years ago and - yesterday - during much of this beautiful (hour-long) tribute to David Rakoff on This American Life. In the car. With my entire family. (Luckily the boys were sleeping - the whole scene would have been quite confusing for them, I suspect.) I tear up looking at pictures of friends with their grandmothers, old dogs with teeny babes, my brother and me when we were little kids.
But today, on Facebook, I loved seeing the dozens of photos of kids heading off to school, some of them for the first time. (Don't get me wrong: many of these images - and the status updates of some of the parents who were struggling with transitions - tugged at my heart.)
Jon and I tried to take our own pictures, today - of Jules heading off to his last year of preschool (his first day as a Zebra) and Kai who moved on up to the full-fledged toddler room (of "Dragonflies.")
This is the shot I got:
I tried again at school and got this photo:
Made possible by bribery (getting to climb this tree in the morning) and my trusty assistant Tracy (below). No smiles - but, here we've got faces.
Here's the thing: Life isn't picture perfect. And these photos make me laugh. But I wasn't laughing when I was taking these shots. I was genuinely annoyed. (I was even more genuinely annoyed when Jules refused to put away my laptop after dinner and slammed it on the kitchen table. I lost my shit.)
I started this blog as a motivator to overcome my fears. But I keep writing it because it's serving as a sort of "lighten-up lens" for my life. Putting my day down the page gives me perspective.
Seeing things in print, I can see: Life is good. Very good. It's super-fun. I can so see that in retrospect, when I'm writing it and reading it. In the moment, though, I have trouble succumbing to the fun, trouble recognizing when is the time to give in, to laugh with abandon, to stop directing and correcting.
Do you know the secret to finding that balance? If so, please share.