Monday, September 03, 2012

beginnings & beginnings of endings

In fifteen minutes the first first day ends. Lydia and I are eagerly waiting for the five kids to fight their way through 3 miles of Port au Prince traffic so we can hear how it felt (besides hot!) to be at school.

The young lady on the left walked out of the house at 8am this morning and went to her first day of school as a bona fide Kindergartner.  Her first first day as it were.  She gave her first presentation, which was really just a little interview conducted by her teacher, Ms. Becky.  It meant standing in front of the classroom and talking - like out loud - utilizing her voice.  Phoebe is not much of a talk-out-loud-with-your-voice-in-front-of-more-than-just-family, kind-of-girl  -- so it was a pretty big moment.

The young woman on the right went to her very last first day of school in Haiti, her very last first day of high school, her very last first day with her siblings underfoot. The next "first day of school" for Paige will happen in another country and will look and feel a whole heckuva lot different. 

(And honestly, let's hope for different. It took 53 minutes to travel 3 miles this morning. I have high hopes the infrastructure where she's headed is a bit more advanced.)

I remember the winter almost five years ago when we had just welcomed Lydia and were about to send Britt off to Baylor University.  The beginning and the end intermingled like a cruel joke meant to drive a tired postpartum momma over the edge.  The seventeen year span from the alpha child to the omega child has forced some mixed up (read: crazy-town!) emotions and some simultaneous beginnings and endings. 

Today we recognize yet another one of those absurd juxtapositional moments.