Grace answers first, “I’m free on Wednesday morning.”
“Why?” Samuel asks, concerned I’m going to give him chores to do, I’m sure of it.
“Because, I want to take you each out for coffee ( Translation: a decaf milk shake), it’s time to set our school goals.”
The kids start school on Friday. I’ve loved having them home this summer. Living in Nashville, well, I am starting to love this time of year I used to hate. Summer in the south is sweet and gentle and courts me with fireflies, bluegrass music, barbecue and fireworks… Summer used to be my nemesis because I don’t tan and fall is my true color wheel. But, not anymore…
Summer is the time life around here stands still for a little bit. We sit outside for lazy dinners, read more books, take long country drives for no other reason than to drive in the country. All moments I love with my kids.
I know how fast this ride goes–Motherhood. My oldest is grown and gone and just landed a great job. Time together needs to be scheduled way in advance. Other times, she calls for advice about a friend or a recipe. I meet her for lunch or we chat when I remind her of a family birthday or when a celebrity dies–it’s our thing.
Yeah, I know how fast this ride goes.
David overhears me talking to his little brother in the kitchen. This same little brother almost as tall as him, “Samuel, I remember when mom would take me to set my school goals. I’d tell her a goal and she’d improve it.”
“Improve it? What do you mean?” I ask.
“Mom, I specifically remember when I was starting high school and you took me to Caffe Santoro’s….you had your paper and pen ready to write down my goals, and I told you, Mom, this year I’m going to shoot for a 3.0. And you said, Well, how about you shoot for a 3.5? And, then you wrote down “YOUR GOAL” on “MY” goal list.”
We all laugh at the memory. So, it’s true. I didn’t imagine it. They were little once. They acutally do remember moments I tried to encourage. They remember I tried to push them harder. Paul and I both have.
Grace and I have a date to set goals today. She’s much more excited about the tradition than her fourteen year old brother because listening to David tell “goal setting war stories” doesn’t help.
I look forward to sitting across a table from my growing child. These moments matter. They’re racing by and I can barely hold on anymore. I torture myself by thinking about our empty home one day and how I want them here. “This house is too big.” I complain to Paul. “I thought the kids would be home more.” When kids are teenagers you see less and less of them. Cars and friends strong-arm you for their time–and win.
But, not today. This morning I’ll have coffee with my girl and talk about what plans she has for her junior year in high school. We’ll bring up things like marching band and tennis and her interest in nursing and children. I’ll try to forget she used to be little once. Instead, I’ll remind her God has an incredible plan for her life and that there’s people He has handpicked for her to bless with her unique gifts.
She’ll watch as I scribble down the goals she has for herself–andmay even catch me changing a few.
What about you? What’s YOUR family’s back to school tradition?