Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School - Not for Me this Year

(L-Alexander; R-Nikolaus)

With everyone talking about back to school this time of year, with all its anxiety and shopping and excitement... it got me thinking. This is the first year since 1993 that I haven't had to do any of that with my children {sniff, sniff} since my youngest, Alex, graduated this past June. He finished high school in Connecticut (where his father lives) so he could graduate with his class ~ he has been staying with the family of a friend. I was unable to attend the graduation {BIG sniff, sniff} because I was still recuperating from my spinal surgery. I was really upset not to be able to be there, but a really good friend, Naomi, who lives next door to my ex-husband, sent me a couple pictures. She has always been there for my boys and her son, Andy, is a really good friend of theirs.

(Alex is in the middle, Nik is on his left in sunglasses and Andy is the tall one in back)

(Photo courtesy: Naomi Allen)

I really miss taking the boys to the store to pick out new clothes, shoes, and backpacks. Plus the new pencil cases, folders, pens, pencils, notebooks, paper, and all the other little things that they loved. They would meticulously pick out their clothes for the first day of school and I would lay them out so the boys could find them easily the next day. There was one year they were so excited to go back, they got dressed the night before after their baths (shoes included) and slept on the floor together in their new clothes. They were definitely on time the next day - a little wrinkled, but on time.

Alex has always been my little bookworm and artist... he is working now and playing in a rock band, trying to save money to go to college... or make it big and become famous. He's already someone big and famous in my mind... but I guess I'm a little partial! His band is really good, and they play lots of local gigs and they even played several last summer on his trip down here to visit me.... They made enough money to pay for the gas in the van for the trip.

Nik has always been really athletic and artistic, also. He was the one in school who would try any sport that he felt like trying. He tried football as a freshman ~ boy was I nervous ~ he did pretty good, too. Then he decided to try DIVING... something he had never done before. I have no idea what possessed him to try this, and it scared me to death every time I went to a meet and watched him jump off the board and flip and twist and turn, but he was AMAZING!!! His school even made it to the state finals that year..... WooHoo. Then he discovered GIRLS ~ no more sports, why get hurt, when you can play the guitar and have girls swoon over you??? Of course, he was really good at that, too. Now, he is in the Army National Guard, and he graduated top of his class from Basic Training, as Outstanding Soldier of the Cycle. He was the soldier picked to recite the soldiers creed to the whole graduating class, as we were sitting on the bandstand in the front row (we got special seats, and pins, and got to meet his superior officers and their wives - it was very exciting as they said wonderful things about Nik). When Nik began speaking to the crowd, I turned to Bill and said, "Who is that man?", to which Bill replied, "That MAN is your son!" Talk about being proud.

So, no school shopping, no getting ready for the first day, no picking out backpacks and pencils. Instead, Alex is picking out clothes for Rock n' Roll gigs and working hard to buy his girlfriend gifts, and put gas in his car. Nik is getting ready to be deployed to Afghanistan in November ~ talk about anxiety for a mommy. They will both be visiting, hopefully, in October, and I will be taking LOTS of pictures to pass on. All and all I can say, I miss the things I did with them as little boys, but I so very proud of the men they have become!

Until next time..... Lorie


Diana of Diana Rambles said...

Thanks for your nice comment on my post at Sited & Blogged!

Maria's Space said...

Awwww...that must be really hard. How cute that they slept in their clothes and shoes. What a great year that must have been for them. I can't believe the age difference in our children being the same age and all. So funny, that I am just starting the whole thing and this is your first year not getting someone ready for school. I am sure it feels like a blink sometimes. Time goes fast, kids grow up and there is always something new to stress about. You are a wonderful mom and your boys are lucky to have you.

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