With the twins snoozing in the dark coolness of their rooms and Wyatt lying on the living room couch, quietly hiding with "his" cat beneath autumn-colored afghan, I lay down myself for a 15-minute breather.
Even routine weeks just need those times of quiet, to be still. With its new beginnings, this week has needed more than most.
One moment, I had a full 20 minutes of silence before me. The next, the clock's red numbers glared at me, showing I had forty-five minutes to convince three preschoolers that a break from the ordinary late afternoon routine was okay. Yes, they would survive not watching Miss Frizzle after nap time. Yes, their tummies were empty enough to hold peanut butter sandwiches even though it wasn't yet 6:30 pm supper time. And yes, a wardrobe change was mandatory.
Maybe newness could just start next week...
This past Monday marked a fresh semester at two of the colleges where I teach, while today found me back in an early morning classroom as a student with my Bible study ladies, all of us coming back together to dive as one into the books of Ezra and Haggai after going our summer's separate ways .
These changes are routine, though, expected, easier to manage because of their repetitiveness. It's the out of the ordinary changes, those into uncharted territory, those that require a letting go--these are the difficult ones.
Our family's biggest new beginning would take place tonight--if only I could get us there.
Although he does not meet our state's September 30 cut-off to start Kindergarten this year, my oldest son's "almost five" age meant he was finally big enough to attend "big boy " classes on Wednesday nights at our church.
Last week, Wyatt held my hand as I walked him to children's choir, his anxiety at the newness invisible except for the rare small hand willingly fitting into mine. Since he has been unexposed to daycare or preschool outside our home, I was concerned that he would be picked on in a group of older children...and that he couldn't sit still.
My fears aside, it was time. He was ready.
Our shoes moved from the familiar concrete sidewalk to the soft cushioned grass as I took Wyatt across the field to a mass of children playing kickball with our music minister. There, our pastor's youngest daughter and her friend called my son's name and took over, mothering this little boy who needed someone to take him by the hand and lead him, soothing this mother's heart. An hour later when I came to pick him up, she was there again, just like a teacher, giving me a rundown of how they had taught him the game, how he had done well singing.
And Wyatt? His face beamed, his step was airy, and his hand flew free.
Tonight was his first night in both big boy classes, one to study Scripture and the other to sing praises to God. (Yes, we made it.) Unlike last week, there was no hand-holding. Wyatt leaped before me down the covered walkway, opened the door, and flew upstairs. Once I was sure he had found the right place, the twins and I turned and went back downstairs, but for him? There was no turning back.Ice cream and chocolate marshmallow cookies have time with mama beat any day. Still, I pray he will continue to reach that hand out every now and then, even when mine cups small in his instead of his in mine.
Photos: The boy that used to be little.