All four kids took turns rummaging, elbow deep, in the large metal pot that holds rusted nuts, bolts, washers and nails. First they made robots, tiny friends composed of wing bolts and screws. They each made three or four and named them based on appearance and abilities.
Then Solomon made a “weapon,” something like nunchucks, by tying nuts on either end of a piece of string. He practiced throwing it until he could get it to wrap around a tree. Then the other kids caught on and started in with their own string and nut creations.
This morning he tied a washer in the middle of the string and, pulling the two ends taunt, observed the washer spinning first in one direction, then another.
This fall my four kids will be spread among three different schools. Two will climb on separate buses within minutes of each other, heading in opposite directions. Then the other two will ride with me in yet a third direction for drop-off.
I have three separate Back to School nights listed on the calendar, all requiring babysitting, and two more Meet the Teacher events that include some, but not all, of the kids. A large sheaf of papers pinned to the bulletin board announces teachers’ names, room numbers and other pieces of essential information.
I feel something like that nut tied in the middle of the string, spinning in one direction and another as my kids fly out into the world. How lucky we've been, piled together for the summer, like those nuts and bolts in the pot. We've clattered around the house and yard together, merging and separating at will. With fall, we will be flung a bit wider, but I'm grateful, always, for the cords of love that bind us together.
BTW: That IS how nunchucks is spelled. Weird.