(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

There’s a rose blooming in our trellis, with another one set to open up any day. It’s an unusual summer when our early June-blooming roses make an encore appearance, but I guess this summer qualifies as pretty rare around here.

I like to think it’s a sign from the roses that always explode right around the time of our kids’ birthday(s)—they know the kids have got some more blooming to do—and it’s a whole new season for them. These are not the last roses of summer, with all the melancholy of the Thomas Moore poem, but bonus roses, full of promise.

I’ll admit I’m plenty wound-up in these final days before our big change. So much to do: medical appointments, paperwork, buying supplies, decisions, worry about the already dwindling bank account. Yet so little time just to enjoy being together.

It would be easy to miss the roses, let alone find time to smell them. I’m lucky I stood still long enough to notice the unexpected pink peeking through green.

So I continue to sneak peeks at them when I can, even if I don’t often stop moving long enough to inhale deep appreciation of their beauty and scent.

We take the moments when they happen. Spending time badly hitting colored golf balls on a late summer night with Jackson. A dinner alone with Christiana where she admits she’ll miss us just a bit and we agree—but don’t deny we still plan to enjoy sleeping more.

This is the first week I haven’t taken first day of school pictures and then scrubbed the floor not long after morning classes began, a tradition I started when they went to kindergarten in 1997. An introvert, I ignored the PTO’s invitation to spend that first awkward morning with others.

Instead, I washed the grime of summer from my kitchen floor and then went downstairs to write my feelings out. That first school goodbye I didn’t really regret they had taken the next big step to independence as much as I knew a small part of me had to acknowledge the nevermore of their preschool days in order to let them move on.

So I listened to the blues—kids’ blues that is on the Big Blues CD by Music for Little People.

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

I still love Michelle Shocked’s “Flying Lesson” from that collection. At one point I put together my own collection of writings written around how my kids’ flying lessons and increased independence also gave me room to soar through my own flying lessons—a collection I will probably keep writing throughout the rest of my days.

So we’ve made it through a whole series of flying lessons, yet the kids are about to experience many more in the next few weeks, only this time they won’t be returning to our nest after each lesson. In the end, it’s we parents’ job to prepare our kids for flight, not to clip their wings.

Same as it’s also our job not to let them clip our wings—perhaps there’s even room for a couple more rose blooms in our trellis this season.

As we prepare to say goodbye to our best beloveds, as Shocked sings, we also say hello to being able to fly a little more ourselves.

Blooming, flying—they’re both great metaphors for where we are now—just as long as we all remember to fly home from time to time—and smell the roses together!

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert