Look How Far We’ve Come

Tomorrow begins my eighth September in Powhatan.

It was a different season, eight years ago. My eldest was barely a teenager. I had one in kindergarten. My kids absolutely defined me; I was the mom of five. I was a single mom of five. Pretty much everything I did, most of the day, had to do with raising and caring for my kids.

Nobody but me had a driver’s license. Anywhere we went, I drove.

Swim team, soccer, church, shopping. Life was me, my five, scrambling in and out of a big red Suburban and doing our best to get through every day.

The days melted into weeks, and then months. Seasons came and went and eventually a year went by. Then another.

And then things seemed to go into hyper-speed and there were cars and licenses and proms and graduations and boyfriends and colleges and girlfriends and now it’s September 1st, in just a few hours, and I have two kids who will head out into a new school year together next week.

Now I drive a little car and often it’s just me, or it’s me and my kindergartener, only now he’s thirteen and taller than me. The girls are all off at college. The other son has his own car and a steadfast direction and there is no other evidence needed that things change.

Back to school still gets me excited. I bought a new notebook and a package of pens last week – for myself. Ideas are fresh. I like the idea of a blank sheet of paper, a new year, the wide expanse of nine months ahead, full of cool, crisp evenings that will morph into snow and bare trees and then explode into springtime before we are back to another summer. It helps that my boss, who has been gone all summer, returns to work the same day the kids go back to school.

It’s a new season. I’m excited.

But I’m spending a bit of time reflecting on just how far we’ve come. It’s worth remembering; it adds to the gratitude bucket. If you don’t know where you’ve been, you don’t really know how to appreciate where you are.

I’m grateful for this grace; it came daily. It has unfolded.

It is welcome.

Me, with my kids, in 2007. Wow…..

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