The other day, the kids and I made a special trip to the optometrist's office to get Dillon's glasses fixed. Apparently, Blake had hit Dillon in the face and bent them. The last time we got Dillon's glasses fixed, it was because Cate pulled them off and broke the arm. And another time, it was because Dillon tripped on the playground, mangling the frames when he kissed the dirt.
We've walked through the doors of this same optical shop many times over the years, and the staff has reshaped Dillon's glasses over and over, until they inevitably break and it's time to get a new pair.
On this particular day, Dillon walked in first, followed by Blake, followed by me with Cate on my hip. The boys went straight to the candy dish and grabbed a handful of peppermints, like they always do.
As we made our entrance, one of the ladies said, "Everybody's getting big!"
I thought back to the very first time we came in. Dillon was two years old—the age that Cate is now. Dillon tried on so many glasses that day, and I snapped photos and texted them to him to his dad for a second opinion.
These days, Dillon picks out his glasses himself. He's eight now. He knows his style. He knows what he likes.
And the office staff has seen our family grow—from one child, to two, to three. And on this day the words "Everybody's getting big" made an impact on me. They were still ringing in my ears after the glasses had been repaired and we walked back out the door.
Everybody's getting big.
I know now, more clearly than I've ever known, how fast it goes. But I can't spend my days gazing into my children's eyes in an attempt to slow it down. First, that would bore me to tears, and second, they don't stop moving long enough for that to ever happen.
There are no "tricks" to overcoming this fast moving reality. So, I'm just working to acknowledge it and accept it.
I've felt a shift lately. A desire to live with more... more... what's the word?
Maybe that's it. It's the best word I can come up with.
It's officially summertime at our house.
A few weeks ago, Blake graduated from preschool. During the ceremony the director noted how this time of year is bittersweet. It's wonderful because these young, amazing children are now ready for kindergarten, but it's also sad because the teachers get attached to our kids, and they have to say goodbye.
And it occurred to me: I often consider attachment a negative thing. Don't get too attached, I tell myself.
But you know what? Screw that. I want to get attached. I want to live and love so fully and so deeply that it hurts to let go, even when I have to, even when it's time.
On Dillon's last day of second grade, the class party ended and students lined up at the door. The bell rang and they rushed out, hugging the teacher as they left.
But my son and I didn't leave right away. We lingered. We stayed in the classroom, helping the teacher clean up. We swept up the trash. Wiped down the desks. Then, another classmate returned with her grandfather. She started helping too.
Later this month, this teacher will move to another state. Understanding that we won't see her in the hallways next year, we stretched out the goodbye for as long as we could.
When Dillon and I finally walked out of the school and through the almost empty parking lot, I could feel the separation growing between the school year, and summertime. As we moved through the space, the transition felt physical.
Maybe this is what living with intention looks like. Maybe this is how it feels.
New in a Year in Pictures: When you've been married for 14 years, it's time to reflect.
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