The kids went back to school today. And I find myself lonely – no noise, no distractions, and no interruptions. I miss:
- Their little voices
- Their big voices
- Kids running in and out of the house all day
- Spilled milk
- Dirty dishes
- Wet bathing suits and towels laying on the floor
- Tripping over sandals in the hallway and mudroom
- Reminding them to please shut the door since the air is on
- Reading with them
- Playing board games and cards
- Playing outside
- Their disagreements and hearing them make peace with each other
- Their laughter
- Their energy
- Special moments
- “I love you” throughout the day
They were excited to go back to school. But I feel torn – happy for them, but not for me. I find myself wishing we had more time, a longer summer. The weekend is only four days away…
The annual welcome back to school evening for parents, faculty and staff was this past week at my kids’ school.
The event is as old as the school. Time is taken to welcome back the old and introduce the new. Class lists are distributed and everyone clamors to catch-up on summer travel and experiences. I am never ready to send my kids back until I attend this gathering.
I am reminded of what a special environment they learn in. I appreciate the rich diversity of the school and the scope of the education. The diversity goes far beyond race. As I move from conversation to conversation, I hear people seamlessly switch from language to language as they share their experiences or greet newcomers. I hug a friend and teacher who spent most of the summer educating teachers in the D.R. Congo. I speak with an administrator who spent summer back home, enjoying the New Zealand winter. I catch up with another parent, a doctor, who has just returned from helping others Nicaragua. His daughter, just graduated from high school, went with him and helped deliver a child to a fourteen year-old mother who was walking down a dusty dirt road to a clinic while in labor. I reconnect with other adoptive parents and introduce the new ones to those of us who are not, bringing them into the fold.
Connections. Perspectives. Common threads of human kindness and outreach in the global village.