Forward Thinking

Contrary to the message conveyed by the towering Mount Laundry in my living room or the eternal effort to shop for, prepare, and clean up after meals for a family of five, it appears that childhood is not a permanent state of existence.

These kids are undeniably growing up.

Usually, their changes are deceptively incremental, detectable only along the periphery where new phrases pop up unexpectedly or platefuls of pasta and gallons of milk mysteriously disappear to feed a voracious growth spurt.

The luxuriously unfettered days at the end of this summer found us in suspended animation (we’re working on an epic home movie to capture those moments… stay tuned!) Like most parents facing down the new school year, we quarantined every nanosecond of spare time and poured in as much summer fun as each could hold. Together we laughed and splashed and tilt-a-whirled and bumped cars and took boat tours and… you get the idea. You’ve been there.

Not two weeks into the new school year, all five of us have moved on to tackle new goals and stretch into new roles.

Miss Maya is a fourth grader in a hybrid fourth/fifth grade class. As soon as she settled into the new school routine, she decided to join me during my early morning writing sessions.

Check out her blog: My Awesome Animals. She’s sure to add to it often. It’s incredible to watch her develop her own voice and approach. Plus she designed her own header on

Miss Elliot is loving first grade already. As full of spirit and joy as ever, she’s proud to be a leader in her classroom whenever possible, and loves to brandish her shiny new reading skills on any early chapter book that comes along.

 And Mr. Max has sailed into preschool with great excitement. He is thrilled to attend the same school his sisters do, though he seems extremely happy to have mom to himself on his days off. Together, we play superheros, fighting bad guys and following unlikely story lines to their inevitably  sound-effect-packed conclusions. I’ve missed having a three-year-old all to myself!

 True to the turn-over-a-new-leaf spirit of fall, Joe and I are rededicating ourselves to our own pursuits as well, work-related as well as individual. If only we could craft days with a few extra hours (and gardens with a few less viciously attacking bees) we’d be a bit more up to the task.

It’s undeniable, September has always been a month of serious growth, extreme optimism, exuberant planning, and no small amount of exhaustion as we adjust to new schedules. Everyone is growing again. I’ll just be trying to keep up!

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