Tomorrow begins a brand new school year for us. Actually, we start on Tuesday "in-person" since our last name is in the bottom half of the alphabet, but the excitement is no less than it would be if we were walking through those doors tomorrow morning with the A-K kids. I sit here tonight among backpacks full of new supplies, first day outfits carefully selected and neatly laid out, and two sweet kiddos cleaned up and prayed up for what lies ahead.
In spite of the uncertainty and unrest of the past several months, this summer has been one of the sweetest I have ever known. That's the beauty of this dance we call life. It's not all good, nor is it all bad. It's a tender mixture of both, and it's when we learn to accept the messy presence of each of these that we are truly living.
The past few months have been hard - social unrest, economic hardships, an international health pandemic to name only a few- but these past few months have also been full of tender, precious memories that I wouldn't trade of anything.
There have been days spent in a John boat floating down the river and afternoons filled with hours up on hours of jumping into the creek while the pools were closed down.
There have been lazy days in the pool and quiet nights sitting around a bonfire.
There have been late evening bike rides as the sun is setting and extremely early wakeup calls to hit up the grocery stores before all the meat was picked over.
There have been birthdays celebrated in quarantine and birthdays celebrated with trips out of town to enjoy our freedom from lockdown.
There have been vacations at the beach and weekends spent exploring the best of our state.
There has been life lived, and it's been lived to the absolute fullest.
When the pandemic first began, I grieved the thought of my kids losing their innocence and having to grow up too fast. My heart broke for the things they would be missing out on, friendships that would be strained for them and the fear that would undoubtedly come with so much change. Instead, they have learned lessons that have taken most of us a lifetime to understand. They are strong, and brave, and adaptable. They have learned to savor the simple moments and treasure the gift of what we already right in front of us.
This year will be different, but I believe our kids already have inside of them everything they need make through. Here's to 2020-21 and the journey that awaits us!