Dear Farleys,

The four of you are in the family room sitting not so quietly watching Duck Dynasty. I just had to yell,”Stop talking about weiners,” and you know I don’t like to have to yell or remind you about using bathroom words. We spent the afternoon waiting for teacher calls that came later than anticipated and searching for glue sticks and plastic folders with brads in specific colors. All in all, it wasn’t a fun day. It wasn’t one that will live in infamy for any reason other than the fact that Ethan threw up three times during the night, but seriously, even that’s not that memorable around here anymore.

I feel that while this day may not be memorable to you, it feels significant to me. We’re closing chapters around here. We’re putting summer behind us and moving into fall. Our lazy mornings together are over for the moment. No more sleepovers in each other’s rooms on school nights. No more late night TV or sneaking Doritos for breakfast. We’ll be back in a routine for awhile and I know we all love our free time to be creative and spontaneous but we’ll have to find time to sneak that in.

Here’s the deal guys…I feel like you’re getting older way too fast. Alex, your changes are the most obvious. You’re going to high school and I’ve written quite a bit about that lately. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that tomorrow is high school orientation. The reality started to set in the other night when we were looking up the cost of different colleges. I want to lie and tell you that we will never have enough money for you to go to college because maybe, just maybe, then you won’t go and I will always be able to listen to you tease your siblings while I sit in my office and try to write. But I know four years will be here before I can even get through the pile of papers in the niche and you will be leaving to conquer your dreams. So this step that you’re taking tomorrow feels more like a leap and I’m not ready.

Eva, you’re going into freaking fourth grade. Nine years ago we moved into this house and you were a teeny tiny baby and now you are a teeny tiny fourth grader. And you’re becoming wise, wise to the ways of the world. Really, I just want you to be that little girl who made sculptures out of the filling in Oreos but now you giggle when you hear certain boys’ names. But you’re not that little girl even though I still catch glimpses of her and I can’t stop time so I just have to get better at remembering.

And twins, Gigs and E, you are so independent. Completely and totally independent. Sometimes I contemplate leaving Gigs in charge instead of Alex. E, I’m afraid I’m going to find you twerking out in the middle of the cul-de-sac if I leave you unattended. You are number three and number four and I worry less and forgive more even if I am a thousand times less patient than I was when Alex was your age. You guys are heading into first grade to drop off your supplies tomorrow, the supplies that we went all over the 2-3-1-1-3 for today. First grade is real, even more real than kindergarten.

So right now, I’m trying to remember what it felt like to sit with you in my arms and rock you each to sleep. I’m trying to remember exactly where your heads sat in the crook of my arm and how the waffle weave of your baby blankets felt on my skin. I’m trying to remember who had more hair, who’s hair had the most blonde in it and who got the first freckles. And I know that in four more years, I will be trying to remember what your little voices sounded like as you tried to sing-a-long with One Direction and I will wish that I was sitting in my hot pink chair at my desk asking you to stop talking about weiners.

We are marking milestones tomorrow but honestly, each and every day with all of you while not always momentous, is completely filled with joy and remarkable in so many ways. The four of you add sprinkle glitter on my days and add whipped cream to my nights. You make each and every day brighter and louder and sillier and sometimes downright insane. I sat down to write my wishes for each of you for the upcoming school year and instead ended up writing a sort of thank you note. So before I close, let me tell you my one big wish for you, for each of you…I simply want you to be happy. Because in that word we throw around so easily, I find so many truths. If you are being kind, you are happy. If you are being honest, you are happy. If you are working hard, you are happy. If you are surrounded by love, you are happy. I could go on and on but instead know that my one wish for each of you is happiness…photo-16

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