The boys now leave the house and clamber onto the bus heading for school at 6:52 in the morning. Both boys. This morning found all four of us in the kitchen at the same time as my husband tried to get out the door for work while I served two very sleepy boys their breakfast and the dogs danced in between our feet and around our legs, hair everywhere.
This particular scenario only happens every third day. Tomorrow I will rise and send them off to school before my husband even arrives back from his 24 hour shift at the fire department. I’m hopeful that come Friday, I might get to sleep past six o’clock in the morning, but I doubt it.
This is our new normal.
Today is the first school day of quiet as well. Quiet being relative as the dogs keep finding things to bark at: a neighbor walking by, the township department working on mowing near the road, the newspaper delivery man, the breeze, nothing. For the past two days, I’ve talked to my husband. Today, it’s just me talking to the dogs.
“Stop barking. Who’s a good dog? You don’t pet me; I pet you.”
I went to yoga today, in part because I’m working hard to keep my body moving right now and because, well, I don’t much like being all alone right now. Except for that part when I got to shower after yoga and lunch and no one bothered me, meaning I shaved my legs—slowly. And by no one, I mean that the dogs only barked eight times at who knows what but not one single person or dog came in the bathroom.
It’s the small things.
Our yoga instructor talked about pausing during the hectic day-in-and-day-out minutae to listen for the little things, to take note of the beauty. I’m so frequently in go-go-go mode that I do forget to pause, to breathe. I get lost in thoughts and don’t take note of what’a really happening all around me.
Last night during our walk, I heard a sound. A whooshing, if you will; steady and somehow passing me by. I looked around. Nothing. I looked up.
The birds are moving, flying in larger and larger flocks. Soon they’ll be gone. The air felt crisp against my cheeks during my walk this morning; I wore a soft new sweatshirt which I needed to remove on my way back up the hill. When do the crickets stop chirping? Maybe I’ll notice this year. The leaves are still green except for those few, those ones who have already given up, turned yellow and brown and let go of their branches. More will follow.
I wish away the seasons with complaints of “it’s too hot” and “it’s too cold.” I don’t take enough time to pause in the current and witness the transition of time, that in-between of summer and fall. When did my daughter get taller than me? When did my oldest son’s feet surpass mine? Where did my baby go and who is this near ten-year-old?
Fourth and sixth grade for my boys this school year. One is now a full-blown tween in middle school and the other will get glasses the same year I got glasses. I don’t know what this school year holds for them, but I hope I can help them pause every now and then; pause and look around and feel the air changing, see the birds leaving, witness the moment for what it is.
At the very least, I hope they learn something this year. I hope I do, too.