I just dropped Bean off for Kindergarten. To be clear, she’ll be there for 2 and half hours today, but still… I get in the car and stupid Macklemore is singing “Good Old Days.” The chorus is on; “Someday all of this is gonna change, you’ll miss the magic of these good old days.” Gotcha, thanks for the stab to the heart.
Radio is now turned OFF and I have to decide. What will my first child-free errand of 2018-19 be? Grauls. For those of you not in the Baltimore area, Grauls is a small chain of family-owned grocery stores. Friendly customer service, beautiful food; it’s all there. But it’s Grauls BUTTERCREAM frosting that may make even the angels sing. It is so good. So good, in fact, that Grauls sells their buttercream by the tub. I’ll stop with the buttercream. My point is. Wait. I’m so distracted now. I pick up the donuts for tomorrows bus stop send off. I buy myself flowers and I head home. I choose to sit and enjoy this first present; gift of quiet. I sit and I write.
Because I have 5 children does NOT mean I am an expert on all child related things.
Having 5 kids means it’s louder, the grocery bill is higher and the calendar is beyond.
Also, Lily being the 5th and last Smithberger to go through Pinewood doesn’t make it easier.
There are more layers this time. My heart feels like all the characters from “Inside Out” are battling for the control board of my emotions.
What am I supposed to do? Do I do cartwheels for my new found “freedom”? Do I cry because my sweetest surprise baby is old enough to leave? Do I swell with pride because she is confident enough to walk away without even so much as a wave? Do I avoid eye contact with anyone offering a smile of encouragement?
I don’t want to freeze time but then again, maybe I do.
I adore going into Lauren’s room after everyone has fallen asleep to catch up on her life. I love being Luci’s sous chef and soaking up her freckles while she reads off the ingredients we’ll need. Joseph loves snuggling but his growing feet are a sure sign that he’ll be too big for that before we know it. I offer to drive and pick up John to wherever he’s going because side by side car conversations are the best.
The truth is, it’s not just Lily. This school year brings a new shift in our family dynamic. Lauren is in 11th grade and talking about visiting potential colleges. John is in 8th grade and asking to shadow at potential high schools. Luci just started middle school. Joseph is in 4th grade. Lily is in Kindergarten. And Mommy has some time to consider Andrea.
All the feels, all the emojis, all at once.
I’m no expert but I can say I feel like it’s all the good old days. There’s more magic to come. Hooray to all of us going through all the feels. And Hooray because I did NOT pick up the tub of Grauls buttercream this time.