Another season of frog catching, ice cream licking, wet green hill rolling, firefly chasing, and lake swimming has come to an end. The long days are becoming shorter, and the first blushes of fall are painting a faint tinge of reds, yellows, and oranges into the lush green canopies. The kids are back to school, to the months of routine, rushed mornings, and scheduled afternoons. We’re about to launch them into another year of growth, charting their progress, measuring their successes, and cheering them on as they trip, falter, and get back up.
It always amazes me how much kids grow and change over the summer. They shine out in all directions, limbs elongating, hair tugged down by gravity, bones shooting up to the stars. My five year old learned to bike and swim; her big sister to roller skate and shower by herself; and the three year old was toilet trained. They are all working on keeping their passionate emotions in check when they over boil, and sharing their feelings in open, productive ways. I once attended a professional conference, where, during the initial icebreaker, we were asked to share something new we had learned to do over the course of the year. Many of the participants struggled to think of something. One of the participants had brought her young son with her, and when it was his turn to share, he started rattling off a list: I learned to play basketball, tie my shoes, count by 7s, play the piano, cook an egg, walk my dog, wash my dishes…his list went on and on. We all can grow and change; kids do it at a relentless pace, and without hesitation.