It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since I read Ashley’s post entitled "This Too Shall Pass." That’s a phrase people use a lot. In fact, I found myself using it last fall as I realized that my school year would be filled with trips to the doctor, chemo, surgery, recovery. At the onset of all that, I took a deep breath, and took comfort in the fact that when school finished up for the year, I’d be pretty much finished with all that cancer stuff. This too shall pass, I’d tell myself.
And it has! As I prepare to send my littles off to school one last time this year, I realize that I’ve been thinking of that phrase often, but in a completely different way. More in the way Ashley talked about it. And it makes me a little misty-eyed. Through everything this year, we’ve always headed to the bus stop a little earlier than necessary. The kids play and the moms (and a few dads, too!) drink coffee and chat. After school each day through the heat, the cold, even a light rain, we stay, usually an hour or more. The kids have come up with the most elaborate games– first there was the Olympics, the ever popular natural disaster scenarios, fairies, city government, mud puddles, and now warrior cats. They’re like siblings and sometimes there are fights, but mostly this group, aged two to nine, has great fun together. For the parents who sit on beach towels in the grass while the kids play, this is valuable time. Some days, it may be the only adult conversation we get until after the kids are in bed. And yet, the last few weeks as I’ve watched the kids, I wonder how long it will last. Emma Clare is the eldest of the brood, and she’s started asking to walk home early or sit with me and read instead of play. I feel like it’s a bit of a golden time, one that I know I will look back on so fondly. I always seem to get a little contemplative at this time of year. But it’s so funny to me that I genuinely believe that I’ll be looking back on this year with a misty-eyed smile. In spite of the cancer, maybe even because of it, this has been a precious year to me.
But for now, there’s no more looking back. I have just under four and a half hours to enjoy the kids’ school time before we head to frozen yogurt with the crew and then come back for bus stop night. And I will enjoy every second of those four and a half hours. Because I am certain of it, this too shall pass.