The car still smells like the pool and all I want to do is slow down time.
The summer, it's as if my kids and I got to know each other in a whole new way, as if
the sunshine was a spotlight, reflecting our smiles and making us more aware of our senses.
I have more memories of my kids smiling and laughing this summer than ever before.
There is something about warm freckles and salty kisses that makes me feel like I am tethered to something real.
I see the pile of pool clothes and flip flops in one corner of the hallway.
And in the other, fresh boxes of crayons with initials written in marker and new backpacks with the tags still on.
Who is holding the reins that are pulling on the time?
The reins have not heard my pleas to slow down
To make my children still fit on my lap,
To stunt their ability to feel insecurities or regret
To keep them in our own little world.
I think that's the thing that scares me most.
Sending my littlest out into the world where influences come from every direction
Instead from just from my own dispense.
My mind races as I send them off through those double doors unto a new school year.
Selfish, fleeting thoughts I know only other moms will understand
Will others appreciate their quirks like I do?
Will they be polite?
Will their short-comings be a reflection of something I forgot to teach them?
My balance is sharp and even.
One side is jealousy of their teachers,
who are the blessed ones who get to see their minds at work,
their eyes light up, their thrill at meeting their new best friend.
The other side is calmed with the realization that if I keep them too close, they won't ever experience those wonders.
I vividly remember the taunting of children on the playground in my own youth.
More painfully, I remember being a bully myself,
The sharp regret of making another hurt.
Have I raise them well enough that they won't ever experience that regret?
Have I equipped them with the confidence to overcome that hurt?
As the memories of water-drenched kisses fade
To make room for cold noses and lost mittens,
I know there will always be enough room for them all.