Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to school for little hands and feet, for little minds and hearts.



Each were off to different schools this morning and for two of them, the day is an unknown. Last night were little girl tears of apprehension, and teenage outbursts of irritation; both from the same source, unbeknownst to them: fear.

I listened and smiled by turn, shaking my head in understanding and confessing my own apprehensions of the fifth and tenth grades. Minds relaxed and the choking fear subsided into a gleeful giggle as the smell of pancakes and the glow of candle lighted an early morning start.

But they will never know the howling of quiet that blows through this house as I tidy up in their wake. They will never know the surprising emptiness that follows the departure of their demanding intensity.

I click on the dishwasher and throw cloth napkins in the wash; I open windows to air out, plump pillows and wipe down bathrooms. And still, a paralyzing fear creeps up my own back, as it has crept upon women for generations before me; a paralyzing fear that here, in this new silence, there is no one needing you. And kindly neighbors call out your liberation - you smile and nod - of course they're right!

And yet the rain falls outside my window as it falls inside my heart, and this plank of future becomes mine to walk.


16 comments:

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

This is absolutely lovely, Allison. Tugs at my heart. I always had as much apprehension as my boys on the first day of school. Hoping everything went all right for them. Wishing I could be there to hold their hand. Letting go is so hard to do. :)

TexWisGirl said...

oh sweetie. i was getting weepy right along with you. i do hope your sweethearts will have a good first day. it is so scary to try to 'fit in'. and you? you will learn to enjoy that silence again for a bit. :)

Judy said...

Oh my goodness...It's that time of year again? I haven't let myself think of it, because this is the first time in sooooooo long that we have not sent anyone to school.
I'm thinking of you Allison.

Marissa ♥ said...

This post is lovely and sad all-in-one. I too, have been experiencing the emptiness and fear you are talking about, you see, my eldest is 17 and she is my shadow, my right hand, my best friend, my mini-me...and I know her time is coming to go away to school and leave the nest. I would keep her with me forever if I could, but I know she will have to spread her wings someday...sigh.


(Hugs)

Liesl said...

Lovely post Allison! I got a knob in the throat recalling my daughters and school...They will always need you,no matter how old they are!

Meg said...

They will always need you! Especially when then come home from school tired and frustrated and they just want mama to be there with snacks and a hug. :) Remember that the silence means all is well because you did a good job. It's not empty - it's filled with wonderful memories!

Randy said...

I heard alot of this all day today from friends at work. It was interesting to hear all of the different feelings. Your's by far was much more moving.

Karen Xavier said...

This is heartwarming... nicely worded. Love your blog, my first time here.
Karen Xavier.

Ola said...

yes, going to school, I remember that fear and at the same exciment - how this year it would be?

Joe said...

I know the first day of school each year was always my favorite day of the year ;). LOL! Now that I've been working for 30 odd years I look back and it really should have been :).

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Yes, I agree. The silence is deafening. But then the phone rings and someone has forgotten their lunch, or homework,or project. Then you hop in the car and run into school and wait for that gorgeous face to pop around the corner of the office door and then you grab another hug as quick as you can.

Pam said...

Be still my heart.. I remember those Motherly pangs.. although long, long ago its hard to let go.

Hugs,
Pam

Southern Lady said...

Ok...Allison...so now you've made me cry. Beautifully written! You have such a way of capturing feelings that we all have. I just love coming over to visit you! Carla

Country Mouse Studio said...

so well written and so true. It's sad we raise them so they can leave.

Mom and Dad White said...

You said it right "they will never know the howling of quiet that comes over this house" when they are gone. So very true.

Trisha said...

You've captured this moment so well Allison :) I sigh at the quite right now, with the girls off to their first full week of school :(