Another Stupid Last Day

School’s out tomorrow and you know what that means—it means a sappy, blubbery blog post where I cry all over the keyboard and wonder where all the time went and how it went so fast and wish I could go back to where the whole family fit in the palm of my hand  and I could hold them close to my chest. You’ll remind me of the diapers. I’ll say I never minded changing them. You’ll remind me of the sleepless nights. I’ll say I’ve forgotten them. You’ll remind me of how they needed me every minute of the day. I’ll say that’s what I miss the most.

And here we go. I made myself cry already.

September is hard, when I have to say goodbye to the boys for nine months—but, June is even harder. When I waved them onto the bus in the fall, they were so much younger, their cheeks so much rounder, their voices so much squeakier. Even though they seemed bigger than ever to me then, in their new grades and their new shoes, so much happens between September and June that it’s like being spun around on a merry go round. I stumble around in June, wondering, Where am I? . How did I get here ? What happened to my babies? June is the time of year I tell Kevin maybe we should have just one more. Just one more, and maybe I’ll finally be ready to move onto the next phase of life.

But I know it wouldn’t work. That one would grow up too and leave me at the bus stop wondering how  I let  it happen again.

And so, I am faced with the truth: this is the next phase of life. Just like all the other phases that came before it.

The boys, of course, aren’t all teary-eyed about how much they’ve grown and changed this year. For them, it’s not so much the last day of school as it is the first day of summer. They weren’t the ones standing and waving at the bus stop—they were the ones getting on and off it, coming home with hands full of wrinkled papers and mouths full of tattles and tales.

Leo’s favorite subject is math, he no longer thinks he’s the fastest boy in the universe, and recess would be more fun if there weren’t so many cheaters. He learned to read this year. He says he doesn’t like it, but I keep finding him in bed with books. Every time Leo has a friend over he sends them away with something—a handful of Pokemon cards, his favorite stuffed animal, a prize they won from his claw machine. He’s like the giving tree, only a lot moodier and sometimes kind of bitey.

Rocco built, invented and talked his way through the year. The word “no” continues to mean “maybe” to him, and while it makes it hard to be his parent sometimes, that “maybe” is going to take him places. It’s almost impossible for Rocco to be in a bad mood, and even though you sometimes get after him and wish you could put him in a bad mood, he’d never hold it against you. He has a few close friends who are just as goofy as he is, and he thinks he’s the most popular and second-fastest kid in the third grade.

Vincenzo had a rough time with grades this year, it’s true, but despite that he has grown smarter and funnier and taller. He looks like a man child now, and he  smells like one too. And his voice! It’s so deep now! His favorite place to be is all the way under his blankets in bed, but he occasionally comes out to sit on one of his brothers or to eat an entire box of Wheat Thins and wash it down with an entire pitcher of iced tea. He’s so happy on his own that I still have to invite friends over for him, which I do because, I keep telling him, he is not a caterpillar and his bed is not a cocoon, though I’m not sure even I believe that anymore.

Okay. Now I’m done and I only cried a teensy bit at the beginning. The last-day blog post is written.

And so, it is on to tomorrow.

Leo and Rocco in September:


And in June (Rocco kind of forgot how to smile this year)


Vincenzo in September:


Vincenzo in June:


Breaded sole
Roasted potatoes
Steamed broccoli
Chocolate peanut butter chip brownies

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