It's been well documented that we decided to keep Garrett in preschool for an extra year. Now he's ready. We're ready. Blah blah blah. If I've said it once I've said it dozens of times. And, where we live, kindergarten is ridiculously short. Garrett is only going from six hours of school a week to, like, fourteen hours a week. Next year, at age seven, he will jump to a crazy 36--or something like that.
So. Anyway. We're all ready. He starts school on August 28. So the thing is, I have one month left with the child who tore my heart out of my body and went walking around with it. I have one month left with the kid who climbs and jumps and swims and plays all while holding the beating essence of all that I am in his hands. I have one month left before everything changes. While I imagine the change will be gradual, I have one month before we become slaves to homework, projects, and a school routine. One month before we start something that won't stop until my son is a full grown adult with broad shoulders and facial hair.
At the turn of the new year, I purposed to be intentional about living. There have been days when I've felt a great deal of success in the endeavor and days when I've felt like a complete failure. Such is the way with resolutions. And life.
There are 32 days standing between now and the rest of Garrett's life. I realize this sounds dramatic and school won't take my six-year-old from me but we will cease to have the flexibility of pancakes at 10:00 am on a Thursday or the park at 11:00.
And so, today, I am vowing to do at least one thing every day, between now and August 28, with my kids that is intentionally designed to be fun bonding time. He'll be stuck in school for the next 17+ years so we might as well make the most of these remaining 32 days. I don't want to look back, when he's sitting in a classroom somewhere, and think, "Wow, I sure got the house cleaned but I didn't have a moment of purposeful time with my son."
It doesn't have to be something big or expensive. Truthfully, I started this yesterday with a trip to the pool. And then last night, the four of us spent a half hour in the street helping the boys ride their bikes. It's moments like those, when I see wide grins on my boys' faces and I watch my husband as he teaches them, that I won't soon forget.
The pool. The library. Ice cream cones. Art time. A park. The movies. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as I'm involved. My house might be a mess but I can clean it in September when Matthew starts preschool. My babies are growing up and I don't want to miss it.
It's not like I don't spend time with my children now--I'm with them all day long--but I've fallen into a routine and I want to actively choose to shatter that routine. At least, for a month. Or 32 days. If I could, I'd load them both up in the car and go camping until the end of August but that isn't an option. We've got ministry, responsibilities, and a life that we can't leave. But every day I will do something intentional, something purposeful, something meaningful with my kids.
And maybe, in the end, when my heart is writing his name on the top of his paper, I will be dusting a shelf somewhere or folding a load of laundry, thinking that I couldn't have done anything more to prepare him.
And maybe, in the end, I will be thinking that I couldn't have done anything more to prepare myself.