In a muted, half asleep whisper, my brave one pulled the covers to his chin and uttered words I thought he’d never say, “I don’t want it to end mama. I don’t want school to end.”
Instantly, the uncertainty that has come to mark the start of summer had joined us in his room. I exhaled in the realization that in my brave one exposing his soul had challenged me to do the same. It is not that I don’t welcome the lazy days of summer. It’s not that I don’t long for the time to renew our souls and reconnect our spirits. I long for all that along with the surprises that will grace the coming months.
It’s the sudden sting that summer brings which hurts the most. It comes in the simple moments, the end of school celebration cake with only his name, helping with the multitude of final projects or clapping at the ceremonies recognizing milestones met. It’s in these moments I am sucker punched with the realization time moves forward and am reminded there will be no more Authors’ Teas.
The annual Kindergarten Author’s Tea was the event that marked a culmination of new beginnings and all that had been learned. When my little one’s approached, she had a litany of questions for her brother. She’d pepper him with what he wrote, what was it like, what would people ask. She’d follow him around, posing every what, if and how. When the day finally day arrived, I prayed it would be the day her fears melted, that she would find her voice and be granted the courage to use it. It was time for her to read her book and she looked me directly in the eyes, squared her shoulders, and announced “Bunnies and Cats” by Catherine Hubbard. What was to follow was more than words and drawings on a page but a smile that soared. My little one had faced her fear straight on and was ready to fly.
This time of year I think about her Author’s Tea more than not. I think about how much she taught me in those few moments that morning. I think about how she wants us to do as she did but also how she understands we may not have the strength for a full on start of summer sprint to the house as the bus pulls away. I know she hears all of our questions and doesn’t want us to get lost in the whats and hows. I pray her heart swells seeing that despite our sadness and how scary it may be to do the things we did when she walked this earth, we will do as she did, square our shoulders and conquer our fear.