August 29, 2013

New Shoes: A Season of Motherhood

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that you loved so much you were sad to let them go?  My favorite summer sandals bit the dust this week.  They were comfortable and went with everything; but the pleather had begun to dry rot and the stench was, well, embarrassing.

It's hard to let a good pair go, even when a new pair holds the promise of new adventures.

I've walked a thousand miles in the "shoes" of mothering my young.  Putting on a new pair of shoes is exciting and sometimes painful.  This week we sent our firstborn to public high school.  It was an exciting, emotional week for me.  It was time for me to try on my new shoes of mother-of-a-high-schooler.  The hardest part was taking them out of the box: dropping her off that first day.

She was excited and beautiful that morning.   
I donned the big glasses to hide my watery eyes.   
On the way we prayed over her teachers and classmates; and a friend to sit with at lunch.  We prayed for her to be a light and joy to others.  I may have prayed for her safety twice.

I held it together until she stepped out of the car.  My plan was to stop by Target to soothe my aching heart with a Chai latte but the tears on my cheeks wouldn't let me get out of my car; so I drove the extra 3 miles to the Starbucks drive thru.  The perky barista exclaimed "have a wonderful day!" as I pulled away.  If she only knew.

I made it to the bank parking lot before the ugly cry erupted. After awhile, it occurred to me that the police might be called because a woman was loitering behind the credit union.  I figured I would just have to own up to the fact that I wasn't casing the joint, but rather, having a very normal emotional breakdown.  

The tears were not because I am sad that she is heading into a new chapter of life, but rather the closing of the book of childhood.  A letting go.  She is ready.  We are ready.  But a momma's heart has to have time to process/grieve/put on her new shoes.  

Since that first day, our new shoes have fit nicely.   She is enjoying 9th grade and I am relearning the joys of carpool line.  

At this point I feel that I need to be honest and bare my soul.
I totally missed the carpool line on the first day.  I thought the bell rang thirty minutes later than it actually did.  So, as I was nearing the school, I got a frantic call from my husband wanting to know if I forgot our girl.  Forgot our girl?!  How could you even think that?!!  Apparently she had tried to call me (which for the record, I never got) and finally called her dad because she had been abandoned had stood in line waiting for 30 minutes with ten other kids whose moms had also failed miserably judging from the looks on their faces.
Lamest new mom-of-a-high-schooler ever!!!

Other than that, our week has been smooth albeit incredibly busy.  My younger daughter made the volleyball team and the practices/games/ travel have begun.  I've put more miles on my car this week than if I had driven to the beach.  

We are adjusting to early mornings, homework, and family fall activities.  Even though my sweet man has taken on the responsibility of mornings, I still set my alarm at 5:45 just in case.  And even though I've taken the afternoon responsibilities, he still calls to make sure I've picked her up.  Why in the world would he worry over that?!   Oh, yeah, about that.
I think it's cute how we are both digging deep to make sure this new phase is done right.  I love that it is a team effort (mainly because "the team" doesn't need me to talk in the mornings).

By this afternoon, the point of exhaustion had been reached.  I made an impulse buy of Pride and Prejudice.  What kind of world to we live in that Mr. Darcy has been reduced to $5?  I gave my girls full permission to rest  and be whisked away by the Bennet  sisters.

I told my sweet boy he could play ... whatever.  Little did I know that the Goldfish box would come in handy for a quiet afternoon.

I'm taking a few moments to gather my thoughts and thank the Lord for His mercy during this monumental week.  I am thankful for new seasons and look forward to the new places my new shoes will take me in this adventure called motherhood. 


Sandy said...

My sweet girl, it has been a monumental week for you! God has so wonderfully blessed you & blessed your family by you. And you have your boy to keep you laughing...
I don't think your being late for pick up ON THE FIRST DAY scarred your beautiful daughter since she didn't even mention to us at all. At least you haven't ever driven off & left one of them somewhere as we did your brother once... Confusion about who he was riding home from church with startled both of us when we got home...& realized he wasn't with either of us. Thankful it was a small town with lots of church folks who knew us well.
Love you,

Bugs and Sunshine said...

you've been busy posting! this post is so very sweet and makes me wish I lived closer! i'll be praying for your sweet girl.

praying for your entire family too, as you transition into this new season!

love the bedroom-so pretty!

Kay Harms said...

I loved reading your thoughts on transitioning through motherhood this morning, Gretchen. I can so identify with your tears and the sweet exhaustion of it all. Journey on!

My youngest, my daughter, turns 20 in a couple of days. She is sad and not ready to let her teen years go. I encourage her and tell her it is good to be in your 20s, but I too am having a hard time with this transition. I've had two "adult" children for a couple of years now, but it seems more final now that she is turning 20.

Thanks for sharing your moments. I love hearing about your kids, your home, and your life. And your photos are lovely. Saying a prayer for you as you journey your new shoes!

efulk said...

What a great description! I know you are going to love your new shoes! :) E

efulk said...

What a great description! I know you are going to love your new shoes! :) E

emily bennett said...

i have the hardest time with the thoughts of closing childhood chapters. i can hardly breathe thinking about it!!! and my kids are still little!

with our oldest, with all she has been through, it's exciting and i LOVE that she is growing up and experiencing new things and is mainstreamed. she fought hard to get where she is, and we are overjoyed! but my second born? i'm dreading kindergarten next year. i want him to stay home forever with me. i can just take him to three half days of preschool until he's like fifteen, right?? RIGHT?!?!?

the baby is still a baby, so we are okay with that. for now. i'm just so thankful that there are mommies a stage or two ahead of me, like you, that pave the way to help my heart prepare for "new shoes".

bless. comfy, worn shoes are the best though, aren't they?