Back to School Musings

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It’s getting to be that time of the year where supplies are bought and packed away in backpacks, calendars are filling up with start of school year activities, and the house is abuzz with the excitement of new beginnings.

As a school nurse, I love this time of year! A fresh clean slate, the clinic back into order and decorated for the year, and the excitement of getting to see my students again. I love my job and feel very thankful I get to do what I do.

As a mom, it is always on the bittersweet side. I love watching my kids grow and do new things, but it is also a reminder of the swift passage of time. I’m sending a baby to kindergarten this year. Not just A baby, but THE baby, as in the last one. That’s tough. He is more than ready and I know it, but it is still hard to step into that new phase of life. He will be with someone besides family for nearly 8 hours a day! I have full trust in our school and his teacher but he is my BABY, ya’ know?

On the flip side, I am also sending one of my babies to…. high school. How? I mean seriously, how? I mean, I understand how the passage of time works but how did it actually go so fast these last 14 years? Wasn’t I just getting HIM ready for kindergarten? I met my husband (his dad) in high school. I made memories I still talk about in high school. I met some of the dearest people in my life in high school. And I’m excited for him to do the same, it just seems impossible that we are here already. 4 short years and he will be moving out. I feel that sense of urgency to my core. It’s gone too fast and I don’t imagine it will slow down these next 4 years.

So, yeah, that’s where I am at this back to school time of year. Not to mention that my twins are starting middle school, my middle son is starting 4th grade, and my only little girl will be in 3rd! It’s a year of transitions and excitement here at our house! I’m going to be smiling a lot over the next several months as I watch my kids do what they do. But I have a feeling some tears will be shed as well at the overwhelmingness of life and time. So thankful to be here in this place with this life.

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The Great Cross-Section of Humanity

There is a place that does not discriminate. Nearly all will walk through their doors at one point or another in their lives. Young/old, rich/poor, black/white and everything in between! Society, as a whole, comes together here and intermingles. Where is this glorious place I speak of? Why none other than the DMV!

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It was the last day of the month and I needed to renew the tags on my car. I knew it was going to be crazy and I had kind of sort of mentally prepared myself for it. I try to consciously be a positive person because if I’m not conscious about it, I tend towards negativity very quickly.  I grabbed my number, 169, and noticed they were on 154. Ok, gonna be here a while! There was barely a seat in the place, but I found one.

As I looked around I saw people from every walk of life and I kind of just took it all in. Sometimes I get this overwhelmingly intense love for humanity that is almost painful. Like, look at all of us here right now living this life and doing our thing. It’s quite beautiful really. I think it is a reason I went into nursing: this intense love of humanity. I see beauty and struggle and strength in each face as they fiddle with their papers and look at their phones and try to get their kids to sit down. We are all just here, right here, right now. It’s the most simple and complex thing in the world.

A young mom came in and was struggling with her 4 little ones. She had a toddler on her back in a carrier, a newborn in an infant carrier on a stroller, and 2 what looked to be preschool age kiddos. By the sounds of them, it must have been about nap time. The toddler was crying, the preschoolers didn’t want to listen, at least the newborn was sleeping peacefully! The women next to me sighed heavily when this mom walked by with all here kids and this upset me. It upset me because I have been there and done that! As she finished her business at the counter and made her way back out the door I made the conscious effort to make eye contact with her and to smile. I am betting she does not get that too often. She smiled back and headed out the door.

My time to renew my tags came and went with little incident and before I knew it, I was on the road back home.  As I drove I reflected on how that little connection of humanity meant a lot to ME. I encourage you to seek out situations like this in your own life. Observe, take it all in, love people, and let them know it. Even in someplace as hated as the DMV.