A beautiful skit once taught me: Our children can never possibly love us as much as we love them. It is amazing that with my dramatic emotions I can believe that statement but not be devastated by it. You have to admit it’s true. I don’t know any love on earth greater than the one I feel for my children. I have massive love for my parents and somehow even more for my husband. But the love I feel for those little creatures that were born from me – it hurts, it’s so big. I’m thinking about it today because it’s the first day of school. Which suddenly means something entirely different than it did when I was the one traipsing off with the new school supplies, clutching my lunch money. It was a cool adventure then. A happy return to a smorgas board of familiar friends plus new books and teachers and desk assignments. I loved it. It was the perfect fresh start after a perfect, lazy summer. But today I’m the mom. And I’m thinking about the day when I was a little girl and my three siblings and I came skipping home from the first day of school in our squeaky new shoes, stuffed full of news from the day, and Mom was sitting on the porch waiting for us. She spread her arms almost as wide as the porch itself and swept us into her arms, and I swear there were tears in her eyes. You know what she said then? “You’re a sight for sore eyes.”
I so get that today. I’m sitting here on my porch – at my computer actually – just about to cry at the mere idiocy that I even have a first grader and a second grader. I’m picturing their eager faces in the line at school as I left them this morning. I have myself tied to the computer chair so that I don’t drive up to the school and give John his lunch money that must have fallen out in the car this morning – it won’t be a big deal, and I shouldn’t leave work for it, but every time I imagine his face when he realizes he’s lost it, I can barely stay put without tearing out of here like there’s a bomb threat at the school. And I’m picturing 3 o’clock when they are finally released through the school doors into my arms. And I won’t care that they don’t cry. I won’t care that they didn’t even think of me as they faced their new adventure. But I’ll empathize with my mother like never before, because, oh my Lord, will they be a sight for sore eyes.