September 1, 2014

At Summer's End

We spent last weekend in Adirondacks, thanks to my mother- and father-in-laws who coordinated the entire trip. We hiked, ate good food, and enjoyed a scenic train ride, which my youngest son fondly called, a choo-choo ride.

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. 


Thirteen years later, we're hiking up a mountain trail pulling our little ones by their hands. My sister-in-law is expecting her second baby due this winter. Things keep changing, without halting even for a moment. 




As the first day of school quickly approaches, my motherhood anxiety is on high alert. My oldest son starts first grade and youngest one preschool in just a few days. This is the first year I have both of them in school.

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.


Changes aren't easy no matter what it is. Change forces us to let go of old ways and embrace new habits. But what if we never change? What if I haven't changed a bit over the past thirteen years. Still studying in college, enjoying my single life and partying? We go through different phases of life, just as nature moves through the seasons. It would be hard not to change. 

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. 

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Today, I'm sharing with Emily at chatting at the sky.

20 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures! Visiting from Chatting at the Sky today.

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  2. This is such a lovely post. I love how it communicates how God led you and continues to. Your pics are a-mazing. LOVE that peak through the root system. Terrific! Sincerely....a reader from upstate. ;)

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! It's great to hear from another upstate New Yorker :)

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  3. Change so isn't easy, but often it's good. And how else would we grow? Still, my son got married earlier this year and I'm still not used to him being out on his own!

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    1. Yes, change makes us grow and strong, and I'm forever grateful for that. Hope we both enjoy transitioning into a new phase of life :)

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  4. I really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing. The first pic is wonderful!

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  5. A very thoughtful post Yuko! There is something about this time of year that makes us feel introspective, the turning of the seasons…

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    1. Yup, it's the end of summer thing. This time of year also makes me want to clean out our closets.

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  6. Lovely series of photos. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  7. Thanks for sharing your story. Love the pictures.

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  8. Que bonito post, me he paseado por tu bloc y me ha encantado, te invito a ver el mío, esta semana las mascotas son las protagonistas, nos hacen compañía y sacan lo mejor de nosotros mismos. Si eres un amantr de los anima les no te puedes perder este. Deseo que te guste y si es así y no eres seguidora espero que te hagas, gracias por visitarme.
    Elracodeldetall.blogspot.com

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  9. What a story! I think your next creative challenge should be to make a storybook of it for your kids!

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    1. Hi Stephen! You always know what I need to hear (or what I'm thinking!) Blogging has helped me understand a lot about myself and the process of becoming who we're designed to be, and I'm finally ready to create a storybook. It's going to be an exciting journey :) Hope you had a wonderful summer!

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  10. Excellent photographs! I enjoyed this post. Such a beautiful location and those mushrooms/fungi looked like some type of fairy creations. Loved the picture of your child peeking back at you through the tangled tree roots. I felt so much symbolism there in that photo.

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