sunrise sunset, a back to school retrospective

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, blossoming even as we gaze.  

Sunrise, Sunset

I’m going to pretend that I’m creating this post for Brooke. She loves retrospectives, though she might not call them that. (You might recall that time I found her googling “Brooke’s birthday” to find photos of her early birthday parties on Diary. I do.)

Anyway, I’m going to tell you that I’m writing this post because I know how much she’ll love to look at the photos all in one place (which I know that she will) and not because I’m kind of freaking out at how fast time is going and I really, really needed to slow it down today (which I really, really am and I really, really do).

I am acutely aware of the avalanche-like acceleration of time today. I am watching my girls grow through my camera’s lens as if by some cruel trick of time-lapse photography. I swear, it was just last month that we were in Connecticut, getting Katie ready for her fist day of ‘school’ at the Y. I’m convinced it was just last week that I was snapping photos of Brooke pulling at her arm as she went off to her first day of kindergarten. And wasn’t it just yesterday that they were heading off in separate directions for the first time in years as Katie headed to middle school and Brooke galloped off to fourth grade?

Yesterday morning, I gave Katie a grasping hug before she turned on her heel and walked to the high school for the first day of her freshman year.


The days are long but the years are short, I wrote when I posted the photos of the girls that I’d taken yesterday morning. They are indeed, my friends, they are indeed.

So I’m going to tell you that I’m compiling this post for Brooke.

And we’ll both know I’m lying.

{images are photos of the girls on the first day of school in each of the years noted below the photos.}


2005 – both off of them off to pre K. Brooke, at 3 and 3/4, would split off to the integrated preschool that November. (I had this misidentified yesterday as 2007. Oops)


2006 – Katie’s first day of kindergarten. Brooke was at the preschool. 


2007 – Brooke’s last year of preschool, Katie in first grade. The matching scheme was all Katie’s idea, with no complaints from Brooke.


2008 – Katie, a seasoned second grader, walking Brooke down to the kindergarten hall.


2009 – first and third graders. Side note: The whole matching thing was Katie’s doing again. Since they were in the same school, I convinced her to go with ‘complimentary’ rather than ‘identical.’

And I loved those shoes. Like I really, really loved those shoes. 


2010 – second and fourth graders.


2011 – third and fifth grades. “I’m going to rule the school,” Katie told Brooke. 


2012 – Katie off to middle school, Brooke in fourth grade and the trim around our door in SERIOUS need of a power wash. 


2013 – Katie in seventh grade. Brooke’s turn to rule the elementary school.


2014 – Katie in eighth grade (back to ruling a school) while Brooke heads to her first day of middle school. The happy in this picture just makes my heart squeal. 


And … here we are, 2015 – seventh grade and high school.

High school.

My kid is a freshman in high school.

I just … can’t.

There’s no way I’m the only one with Sunrise Sunset stuck in my head right now, right?

15 thoughts on “sunrise sunset, a back to school retrospective

  1. For me it’s not Sunrise, Sunset – it’s Slipping Through My Fingers (ABBA, Mamma Mia the Musical). My kid is a senior in high school. I’ve been singing in my head for the last week. And yes, I spent the first week of 9th grade singing it, too! Can very much relate.

  2. My oldest started middle school. My middle kiddo is in4th–“upper elementary”. My youngest is a first grader. While we are slightly behind your girls ages, with the new milestones, I completely relate.

  3. The 4th of our 6 children got married last weekend, and I just want to make time stop! I’m not ready for them to all be grown up, and certainly don’t feel old enough to have grandchildren yet we have 4 already!
    I love my life and am blessed beyond words but desperately want to hit pause so we can linger just a little longer and savour these precious moments.

  4. I know exactly how you feel… It feels like yesterday my kids were in the elementary school down the road and now I have a HS Freshman and a seventh grader myself. I also have a son who is a HS Jr. But he lives with his dad so I don’t get to do first day of school pics with him… Don’t you just wish there was a pause button?? Before we know it it’ll be the first day of college or their weddings!!

  5. Sunrise, Sunset is perfect for this. I feel that way about you, Jess. Where did the time go? Now it’s the grandkids. It’s going much too fast for this Grammy!

    Love you,

  6. My oldest daughter turned 31 in July, and my youngest daughter turned 20 in August. My mom said, don’t have your kids too close together. So I waited 11 years between the two. Not sure that is what she had in mind. Time has flown. Treasure every moment, whether it’s good or bad.

  7. As the mom of two sons….Every. Single. Time. I hear the part “when did he grow to be so tall”, since the time they were little (they’re 25 and 30 now) I burst into spontaneous tears. No kidding, every single time. My husband pretty much says “wait for it”. I’ve told them all they’re going to need to tranquilize me for actual weddings…

    The pictures are just amazing. Your girls are so fabulous, in every single way. I love reading about them, and your gift for telling stories. Don’t ever stop, ‘kay?

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