This week summer officially ended in the Loy household and in many households across America. The first day of school began for my boys and it was a memorable one. For on that day, my first born son, Noah, had his last “first day” of high school and my second born son, Micah, had his first “first day” of high school. And on that day, I did not have to drive to school or pick up from school—my days of carpools are over—what a momentous occasion! To celebrate, I purposely planned NOTHING for that day. No meetings, no lunches, no errands, no work tasks—nothing. The introvert in me wanted to bask in the silence of that day. For even though I love summer, love the freedom of the long days, love the times relaxing times with my boys, I was ready. Yes, ready for routine and schedules and work and school and everything in its place.
So, I was up at 5:45 with the boys, packing lunches and taking the obligatory pictures to place this day in our memories forever, and sending them off in a rush and a flurry. At 6:30 am I had the house to myself. I had my cup of coffee and I got to work. I did two loads of laundry; I pulled all the furniture out of the great room and I swept, vacuumed, mopped and dusted. I rearranged pieces of furniture and accessories and I made the room feel new. When I was finished, I sat down and read my Bible and my devotional and prayed for my kids and their friends and the schools in our community. Then I was off to my spin/sculpt class—and after that--back home to QUIET. No breakfasts to make, no wet towels and dirty piles of laundry to step over, no dishes in the sink. I went into the backyard and sat in a lounge chair—yes I sat, in silence, and read a book and swam in the pool with my dogs. Then I made myself some iced coffee and a grilled salmon salad with avocado and pine nuts and balsamic vinegar and ate it outside…..and no one interrupted me! I didn’t have to be somewhere, drive anywhere, make a grilled cheese for one kid and a protein shake for another. No, I sat and I ate my lunch in silence! Then I took a shower, with Ed Sheeran radio blasting in the bathroom and I got ready, with no interruptions!
But now it was time to prepare for the boys to come home. Because that is the joy of my day….to hear how their first day of school went. So I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (heart shaped muffins, mind you, because those are their favorite) so they would have muffins and milk when they got home. They came in with smiles on their faces and I was ready! We sat down and they each took me through their day…..their schedules, their teachers, who was in their classes, what they did at lunch, the pep rally, the excitement…and then the forms—all the forms to look over and read and sign. It is a tradition in our family that I make one of their favorite meals on the first night of school, so that when Greg got home from work, we could all sit together and talk about our days. So I cut and chopped and made chicken with lime and mango/avocado/cilantro salsa and rice, broccoli, and French bread, and I poured myself a little merlot while I was in the kitchen. And we sat as a family and watched the sun go down and ate our dinner and shared about our days and then the boys got going to do homework and prep for the next morning, the next day, the second day of school. At bedtime I kissed my boys good night and tucked them in (yes, they still let me do that) and I crashed in my bed and turned on Netflix to watch my latest addiction—Scandal—and fell asleep….only to wake up at 5:45 today and start it all again.
So why am I writing a blog with every detail of that day? Who really cares what I did or why I did it or why I love silence and routine and space? It really won’t matter to many people. But it matters to me. Because on this momentous day—this first day of school, I sent my boys off and I was cancer free. You see, the last two years on the “first day” of school I was either in chemotherapy or preparing for another surgery. I was battling cancer.
And this year, on this day, I wasn’t. On this day, my boys got to start their school year with a mom who was healthy. They got to start their school year without wondering if their mom was going to be weak or tired when they got home. They got to go to school without anxiety or worry or fear that their mom might not survive this disease. We started our school year with normalcy and tradition and sweet sharing and a lovely meal and the smell of pumpkin muffins baking even though it was 88 degrees outside. On this day I was up and energetic and ready to hug my boys when they walked in the door to tell me about their day.
It was as close to a perfect day as a day could get. At my friend’s memorial service a few weeks ago, her cousin shared their family’s motto: “Faith, friends, family.” That is what it is all about. I have faith; I have a foundation in the promises of Jesus Christ. I have incredible friends and a faith community that loves with action and purpose. I have a precious family who I adore. There is so much for which to be grateful. There is so little time or need to complain or whine or pity yourself or others.
Life is precious and pure and beautiful……and I have today.
Summer is over….school has begun…..life continues…..embrace it.
I do. The joy of a new day....Every. Single. Day.