August 20. Not a day I'm particularly looking forward to, and it is almost here! There are a number of reasons I'm struggling as that day approaches.
August 20 is the first day of school. Luke, my firstborn is starting fourth grade. Isaiah will be in second grade. Every year it seems impossible that they can be old enough for the grade they are going into. My little boys get less little all the time!
The start of the school year marks the end of the time period I had set 3 or so months ago in which so much would be accomplished. There were big plans for this summer! Plans to camp and have fun and relax and maybe even read books! I would get caught up on house cleaning and develop a new organizational system before school started up again. So much was supposed to happen before August 20 rolled around. Now that day reminds me of how few of those plans came to completion. Summer was definitely busy, but some of those best-of-intention plans were lost in the busy-ness.
And August 20 is a tough day because of what it isn't. August 20 should be the day I send my baby girl off to Kindergarten. It should include photos of a similing-ear-to-ear five year old in a carefully chosen, perfectly adorable first day of Kindergarten outfit. It should be the day when I wonder what to do with myself now that all my kids are in school full-time.
Thoughts of Anna and the "would have beens" are part of every day, but this is a tougher one. Back to school shopping for the boys was tough because I desperately wanted to go and choose the perfect Kindergarten girl styles.
We plan to wear purple for the first day of school in memory of Anna and what would have been her first day of Kindergarten.
I will be working as an aide again in the Kindergarten classroom. I debated if this is a good decision, but I think it will be OK. It can't make me miss her anymore - I don't think that's possible. And maybe it will give me an additional connection, as I watch how her classmates are growing and developing and imagine how she would be spending her days.
On the flip side, I am hoping that the start of the school year can bring some positive changes. This has been a rough summer, emotionally. Some good things were accomplished and some happy memories made, but I've been in a funk or depression that has been hard to pull out of, making it difficult to derive enjoyment even from the happy times, and I know it makes it hard for others to be around me at times. I'm reminded that I am still in the thick of it when it comes to grieving, and unfortunately life doesn't take a break from throwing so much other stuff at you just because you're dealing with grief. Some days are just too overwhelming to deal with any of it, yet I go through the motions to get done what is needed, and end up feeling like so little was accomplished anyway. But with prayer and making use of some available tools I am confident that brighter days are soon to come. I am working parttime this year so I can focus on some other areas of my life, too. God is good, his mercies are new every morning, so there is reason to get up and face each day.
August 20. Ready or not......