This morning I attended the second graduation ceremony of the season for my little dudes. Two weeks ago Hudson and his pre-k class matriculated in high style for five-year-olds, and this morning I watched Camden trot proudly across the stage to receive his kindergarten diploma. Every ounce of frustration I've felt with my kids the past few days disappeared in those minutes, and I found myself teary-eyed at the warp speed time travels. The past six and a half years have gone by in a blink, and the times I feel flustered, I try to remind myself they're only mine to nurture and love within my own home for a short time.
At both ceremonies all the children sang songs and posed for pictures with proud smiles on their faces. I sat wondering how each little spirit would grow and speculating on what marks they'll make on this world as they navigate life's challenges. Their innocence is amazing to me, but even more amazing to me is the individuality God grants each of us even from such a young age. My boys' classmates and friends have endearing, quirky qualities that are each their own, and learning their personalities and appreciating them the way I try to in my own kids has been a fun challenge for me as a mom to school-aged kids. I've found myself praying lately that each of my four kids learns to love and accept others no matter what challenges or personalities their peers may have and hoping God gives me the strength and wisdom to instill this quality.
I am a proud mommy who will hopefully draw calming patience from the reserve of deep emotions I experienced watching my babies go through one of life's rites of passage. In reality I know it will only be a matter of time before I'm fighting the urge to put my head in my hands because Camden is telling me the same story for the fifth time in a forty-five second time period. Hudson will inevitably push me to the brink of tolerance with his emotional outbursts. Lawson will start a fight by elbowing his brother on the fly and playing the victim when his brother ultimately retaliates. And my sweet Scout will crawl out of her new big girl bed and into the kitchen five times before finally giving in to exhaustion.
All of these stresses are part of my daily routine, but there is also great joy in knowing I'm privileged to watch them grow, to appreciate their individuality, to hold them in my arms when they slow down enough to let me, and to cheer loudly and embarrassingly when they graduate from any grade. I hope I remember every day that their "school days" go by in a "school daze" and take a moment to regroup enough to soak up as much time as I can.