Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Snapshots: The Field Trip.

I was sitting at my laptop the other day, looking through some of the pictures that we have taken of our little family over the summer. It occurred to me that there are approximately one hundred and four stories buried amidst all of those smiling faces, all stories that I need to tell.

We've been up to our armpits in busy this summer however, and every time I sit down to tell you a story about what happened last week, another story comes bubbling up right now. So then I go to snap some more pictures and last week's story gets shelved, along with one from the week before that and the month before that and so on until I'm staring at a thousand pictures and it's the middle of August and where did my summer go again?

I thought it would be fun to throw a whackload of pictures up from our adventures these past few months, in the hopes that I could share what we've been up to (and my family can stop pestering me to put up pictures of the girls. Bonus!)

Here's the first set of my "Summer Snapshots", I took these at the end of JUNE which feels like a lifetime ago! Inara's Pre-Kindergarten class went on a field trip the week before school ended and the entire time I felt one big emotion after another.

 Me and my girl.

As we walked to our destination, I marveled at all the little hands nestled safely within the big ones - how fragile, how trusting those tiny hands were, and how we were entrusted to hold on tightly...but not too tight, before we let those little hands loose to make their own way in the world. This sweet trio walking directly in front of us nearly did me in, not even two minutes into our walk.

I zoomed in on the dad and son, and saw his tiny hand...already showing signs of his individuality sprouting on his thumb. Maybe he'll grow up be a rock star, I thought to myself. Maybe he'll grow up to be anything and everything. On that morning, the possibilities were infinite.

Pride, joy, melancholy, wistfulness, awe, I ran the gamut on the emotional roller coaster that day - and actually, every day since. It's because Inara is off to kindergarten in just  few short weeks, and the mere thought of it is playing havoc with my delicate emotional state. Why just this past weekend you would have found me clutching a bunch of on-sale powder blue uniform polo shirts in the middle of the mall and crying my eyes out....

...but that's a story for another time. 

When I look at just how much Inara has changed this past year, I can almost not recognize her. The little girl who was so forlorn at the beginning of the school year has been replaced by a bubbly, engaging sprite.

She is someone who is full of friendship and laughter...

She is someone who willingly seeks out adventures in everyday moments (be vewy vewy quiet...we're hunting wabbits!)...

She is someone who dives into life headfirst, only glancing back every so often to make sure I'm watching...

...which I always am.

But as I'm watching her jump farther, climb higher, and smile bigger than I ever imagined possible, I'm watching something else too.

I'm watching her grow up, right before my very eyes. I'm watching her dream her own dreams, and conjure up her own infinite possibilities. Slowly, I'm beginning to realize that a lot of those can't include me.

And it's just hard.

 The Dreamer.

And so I stand still, save for the snapping of my shutter, barely able to breathe when I think about that tiny hand in mine, how fragile it felt and how all I want to do is hold onto it forever, never letting it go...


...which is impossible, I know. So I stand still in the green grass a little while longer as I watch her go off towards a new adventure, a new beginning, a new story, one that is all her own.

Off, off...

...and away.
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