Oh all right. I don't want them to go back. My kids. To school. I can't bear it. Sand bags start piling themselves on my chest when I think about it.
"Just two more weeks," I say. And then I have to change the subject of my thoughts. (I had a severe asthma attack for several days one time. Like sucking air through a heavy pile of thick quilts. Thinking and focus on every single inhale. A vice tight around my torso. I don't want to give myself the mental equivalent.)
But it isn't school really.
I don't think anyway. (After all only three months ago I felt an opposite anxiousness. Hesitant to tackle summer. Afraid to give up routine and familiar.)
It's more . . . the incredible discomfort of ending something that just started. Or maybe of starting something new. It's a hundred things I still want to do. It's comfort and known . . . leaving. Again. And it's life insisting upon change. Always. Right when I find a rhythm.
"There are good things," I remind myself. "School means crisp air, and Abe heading up to the stadium to watch Friday night's football game, and putting corn stalks and pumpkins on the porch. It means quiet afternoons with babies napping and older kids at school. . . ."
And I am excited about all of those things. But every new thing always scares and overwhelms me for a minute anyway. New babies. New church callings. Even learning new things. It all tosses me to the wind a bit -- leaving me feeling scattered and unsure until I've grasped all the fly-away parts of me and tucked them tightly back together.
And yet. As I've typed this . . . a small flutter of gratitude has begun to creep in. Wholly unexpected. Another voice speaking reason in opposition to my fears. "You know you need this, right? Change. Stretching. You know it's good. How God must love you to keep life from becoming too stagnant. To organize your earth experience with time – passing and stretching on ahead. To keep you reaching and trying and figuring. What enormous luck that things don't sit the same; that there is always something new in front of you. New challenges. New joys. How exciting that you keep having experiences and opportunities that allow you to work, and trust, and discover things that were previously unknown." Huh. It's the funniest thing. I really didn't anticipate this feeling. Suddenly there’s . . . hope. And even anticipation where I only felt dull panic. Sort of a President Kimball "give me this mountain feeling". Mild of course. I can't yet claim to ever fully want hard (despite the good that follows). But . . . bring this change. Yes. Suddenly I can say that (when I couldn't five minutes ago). Bring this new season. Bring adapting and taking apart and rebuilding. Now? Now is lovely. But also . . . go ahead and give me the things that are ahead. I feel slightly in awe over the idea that though I don’t even know what those things are . . . they are mine! And they are waiting for me.