It’s been a big week of transitions and though I’m happy they went smoothly (for the most part), I’m ready to relax. I can finally stop holding my breath. But before I move on to what will be our new norm, I need to reflect back on the week because there were so many lessons learned. I want to make sure I remember them all.
The biggest transition of the week was the beginning of a new school year. Don’t get me started on the fact that it is still summer. You can check out Kip Tew’s article about those grievances here! And for us it was a big one – our boys started Kindergarten! For someone who suffers from infertility, this huge milestone was one which I never knew I would get to experience. I’m happy to say I was wrong.
Our time came this past week. And in this one week, almost all the lessons I learned were made up of many different Three Little Words. Three words, you wonder – how can almost all lessons be learned through the use of three little words? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Monday morning started out in a whirlwind. I placed the kid’s outfits and book bags out the night before, and everything was ready except for them. Teeth, hair, breakfast, clothes, shoes, and yes, driving them to school since our bussing wasn’t figured out (that’s another story). I was anxious and scared, yet so excited for them. And so began the three little words.
“I love you, guys!” I think I said 50 times at least! “I am sorry I was cranky. Mama’s just nervous.” Their shiny faces looked at me from the backseat of the car with so much love and excitement for their big day. “I want you both to have the best day! Remember to wait your turn and raise your hand when you have a question.” I told them. “If you do something wrong, remember to say you are sorry. And always include others. You wouldn’t like it if you were left out, would you?” I asked as we were arrived at school. They got out of the car nodding ah-huh, while mumbling “yes, mama,” too taken in with the newness of their school.
And then there we were leaving each of them alone in their own classroom. My heart ached and I was scared for them. “I love you,” I said again. “You guys make me so proud!” And then with one last hug, I reminded each of them to “be good people.” And then we left them and a piece of my heart there for the day.
My heart didn’t break that day, but it did melt a bit when my husband told me how the reunion between the boys and their sister went. This was the other big transition for us. It was and now will be the first time the twins and their sister are separated throughout the day. The concept has been a bit hard for her to understand. They all went to pick her up at preschool and there was a lot of hugging and jumping around each other in excitement. But it was once inside the car when her true feelings came out. She looked over at her brothers and quietly said “I missed you today.”
Once home, we fed them and went about our usual nightly routine. Reflecting back on that evening, I realized that many of those three little words were later reinforced without a conscious thought when asking about their day. Maybe not in the exact words, but definitely the same meaning: “Were you good, today? Did you include others when you played? Did you listen and raise your hand when you had a question?” And most importantly, “I missed you today. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to pick you up. You make me so proud! I love you to the moon and back!”
Sometimes, I wonder if I say these things too much.
And then I remember that sometimes the simplest words are the hardest to say. It takes practice not only to say them, but also to really hear them — the meaning behind the words. And that’s okay, just so long as you’re trying to say some form of these words. Saying such things wasn’t always easy for me, either. But, I’m happy to say that although I may have stumbled upon them, dismissed them, forgotten about them, substituted them or blatantly ignored them in the past, I am now comfortable enough to accept them and say them with a fluency and accuracy that only comes with practice. Now, when I speak these words, they leave you with no doubt of my sincerity and truth. And I’m grateful for that because I believe it’s important for them to be part of my kids every day world, as well as the worlds’ itself. So, keep practicing and saying them. Overuse them as much as you can.
Because oh, how sweet a place it would be if we knew the strength behind all these three little words.