Earlier this month I worked my last parent volunteer shift at the kids' co-op. This is a job that I selfishly dreaded every time I was required to do it, because it took away my precious few weekly hours of kid-free time, even though once I got there and was doing it, it was generally a pleasure. Besides, June was old enough this year to really get a huge kick out of having one of her parents be "Parent of the Day". And this last time, while working Waylon's nursery room, I found myself sad and nostalgic for the ending of this job that I never particularly looked forward to in the first place. Co-op is a place where we signed up looking only for a few hours of childcare and preschool for our two youngest, but after two years of involvement, I'm leaving with a handful of good friends. Suddenly now that it's time to say goodbye, the place has risen in my esteem to "World's Greatest Preschool", filled with the most loving people on the planet - a place that surely cannot even be approximated in the suburbs. (I know that's ridiculous.)
This month has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. Vacation! Packing! The first anniversary of my father's death! New home renovations! End of school! And with each simple, mundane activity of our daily lives, I wonder if it will be the last time. I try not to think too much about it or else I get all sentimental and start crying. You have to rip it off like a Band Aid, right? Pack the bathroom into boxes quickly, or else you'll pause and realize the significance - that your children have already taken their last group bath in that tub together. (I know that's ridiculous.) They will still bathe in the new house. And Lord knows I've taken 1,000 pictures of most everything we've done in the last six years. It doesn't matter; I'm still sentimental about it all.
Will this be our last time to (somewhat dangerously) play in the boulevard together?
Will this be the last time that we play at Haas park and wait for Joe to meet us there on his walk home from the El station?
Here's a positive one: Today will be the last time that I have to yank June and Waylon up from naps and throw them in the car at the last second to go get Georgia from school. That I will not miss.
Another positive: Soon I will make my last drop-off donation run to our local Salvation Army, an otherwise good place where the collection guys are so mean!
I hope my friend Maggie isn't groaning and rolling her eyes while reading this. As a pioneer of the suburbs, she's quick to remind me that we are not moving to Siberia, just a town 35 minutes away. I hope my sister isn't crying and rolling her eyes while reading this. I've promised her we'll be back to the city to visit all the time.
We're excited for the move and all the positives that we hope are in store for us. I'm just sentimental, that's all. The first of the lasts have been bittersweet.
He thinks he's climbing this tree. Good try, buddy.
For some reason he calls my purse a "package" and loves to carry it around. How 'bout that vocabulary, though? It has really exploded in the last month or two.
A Little Chef's Card Victory
4 years ago