When we finally arrived at our motel after four and a half hours of driving and a temper tantrum, our two year old niece burst into our room to welcome us. My boys joined her and together they ran in a circle shrieking, hardly able to contain their excitement for our vacation together. Then my sister- and brother-in-laws followed her into the room and gave us a hug.
I've known them for thirteen years now - my sister- and brother-in-laws - even longer than I've known my husband, Steve. Back then we studied at a small state university in upstate NY. A lot has changed since then.
When I came to this country thirteen years ago as an international student, my future brother-in-law, Jo was the one who came to pick me up at the airport. I had no idea one day that young man, who ushered me into this foreign land, would be my family.
I met my sister-in-law, Elizabeth, through Jo shortly after, and we quickly became friends. We took psychology courses together and talked about our families. I was surprised we shared many of the same values despite our cultural differences. And through Elizabeth, I met her brother, Steve, the man I would marry in just four years. It was love at first sight.
I never knew what anxiety really meant until I became a mother. This must be part of our defense mechanism that kicks in the moment we hold our baby in our arms. We promise ourselves to protect our little bundle of joy no matter what it takes. Like a mother bear who tries to protect their baby cubs, we are not afraid of doing serious damage to any offender. We would do anything to protect our children.
But once they start school, we can't be there to help our little ones. They are now on their own. We moms know their every quirk and how special they are in their own unique ways. Would the teacher see what I see in them? The special sparks they have in their heart?
The first day of school always comes sooner than I want. It's rather ironic, because I remember huffing and puffing when the summer started. I know I just need a few more days of grace period to complete this mental shift. The moment my oldest son steps onto the school bus, I know it would feel right.
So, I loosen my grip on life and try my best to let things unfold on their own.
Steve and I have gained a few pounds over the summer from all the rich food we ate and probably from our age. As much as we'd like to shed those extra pounds off, we're not bitter about it. Perhaps it's time for us to put our running shoes on and start jogging around the neighborhood, together, while the boys are gone to school.
Change is good.
Sometimes, I need to remind myself of this.
* * *Today, I'm sharing with Emily at chatting at the sky.