Something Old and Something New

An old tradition began this week: the first day of school. But it was Trinity's first day of school, ever. It was new to her. A photo not unlike the one above made its way on to Facebook a couple of days ago. One comment read, "Oh my goodness, when did that happen?!"

I could not agree more. When did this happen? More importantly, how did it happen so suddenly when, in fact, I was right here all the time? On one hand it's pretty obvious that I have fallen victim to the classic cliche of not seeing the forest for the trees. I am pretty sure that I am not alone as a parent on this one. The daily routine can blind me to the larger process sometimes. Even though I prefer the larger view, I have weak points, like my daily routine (which include my children). It's moments like this that I realize that everyday adds up and, all of the sudden, time has effectively fast-forwarded. Is that a word?

As a parent it is easy to get caught up in all the little things that need to be done. At least, that's what Autumn tells me. I am pretty sure that I am oblivious to most of those things. It's only the awesomeness of Autumn that keeps this whole train chugging along. But I still lose sight of the long view when sometimes all I can think about is when nap time is going to get here. The answer: not soon enough. But I digress...

Romantically speaking, this would be the last view that I saw of Trinity as she went to her first day of preschool. But it is not. I went in with her, signed her in and made sure that she knew where her seat was. I even took a few more pictures. But this is a view that will be repeated annually for a while to come and that makes it important. This is two things. This is a) the accumulation of the work that Autumn and I (and Trinity) have put in over the last 45+ months, and it is also b) the beginning of Trinity's independence. This is what we are all aiming for. She may not know it now, but she has been working every bit as hard, maybe harder, than Autumn and I have to get here. It's an important day. Moms instinctively know it. Dads, not so much. But it's there and we need to be aware.

But there's another side to things. With separation comes trauma and I felt it today. I picked Trinity up from school and was taking here to Melody's (daycare). she mentioned that she wanted to go home first and eat lunch before she took a nap at Melody's house. Work has been a little hectic and I really didn't have time for a lunch break today, so I said no. She cried. Not the whiny cry that is annoying and needs to stop. Not the whimper of disappointment. These were crocodile tears that hurt; they hurt Trinity and  me. Getting soft in my old age. Maybe. But really it's the reality that I don't see her all that much during the week. I don't think about it much because I have to work. But she does and it matters a lot to her. So it matters a lot to me. We'll have lunch together next week because what matters to her, matters to me.


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