Life is Good: even when the kids have to go back to school!Well, the last day of summer vacation has come to an end. We started our new bedtime routine tonight. Dinner, bath, a little play and some stories. Long gone are the weeknights where bedtime is whenever we drag ourselves in from enjoying the fresh air or the clock shows that bedtime was supposed to be more than an hour ago (or more. gasp!).
Tomorrow, our big kid will officially be a kindergartener. KINDERGARTEN. Oh, how I dread that word! Me, the writer. Me, the lover of words. I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about it.
Our big kid will love kindergarten. I have no doubt he will thrive. We've chosen a great school. He's been gifted with an innate love of learning. He enjoys other children to no end. He will love kindergarten.
So, this pit thing? This pit is about me. All about me. And let me say, not much is just "about me" anymore. But this dreading the first day of kindergarten thing is alllllll me. And not because I am concerned about the bus. Which I am. (Safety and bigger kids teasing or teaching "new" ideas and words.) And not because I am thinking about how he will be in the lunchroom each day with hundreds of kids who may or may not be careful around him or wash their hands well after they have eaten something that he is allergic to. However, I am. And not because you have absolutely no control over anything that they come into contact with once they step foot onto the bus or into the school or onto the playground or back onto the bus again. But, yes, I am concerned with all of that, too, of course. Last year, I had all of these same concerns when he started a new preschool. And I know that it is all completely normal. And I know that as the days turn into weeks, I will settle into a comfortable discomfort about all of these things. I will get used to it all and I will regale in all of the new thoughts, ideas, and fun he will be privy to. What this sick to my stomach, frown on my face feeling is all about is... time. Time that has passed---so quickly. Like a bolt! And time yet to be. Time that, I have discovered, passes by way too fast. Kindergarten, to me, means less time spent together, more time apart, time whizzing by, time slipping out of my hands. Or rather, my kids slipping out of my hands.
And so, it is all about me. One mama who doesn't do a hop, skip, and a jump at the thought of the kids being out of her hair for 7 1/2 hours a day. But rather, a mama who has discovered her purpose, her great joy, the infinite possibilities for complete and utter bliss in two, small, blue-eyed boys. A mama who wants this over the top, joyful place in life to linger and not zoom away like a school bus.
Okay. There, I said it. I mooned a bit. I allowed the melancholy to take over for a while. And now, the all about me portion of this day/week/month maybe even year? is over. With every tap of the keyboard, the gray cloud lifts a little father away. I say this blog is a keepsake for my little boys, but it is also therapy for me.
The lunch bag has been packed except for the ice pack and frozen yogurt tube. The dinosaur tie t-shirt that our big kid has been aching to wear for weeks is waiting on top of the dresser. A giant banana bread muffin the big kid and I made for his teacher has been wrapped up with a pretty bow. The backpack and shoes await at the door. It is time to put on a happy face and celebrate what kindergarten is really supposed to be about---excitement, possibility, growth, and so much more.
I know that our big kid going to kindergarten won't be the last time that I wish that time would move more slowly. I know it won't be the last time that I mourn the passing of time, either. But I also know that our big kid is so ready for this adventure. And I know that he is going to walk onto that bus with a smile and walk into that school with one, too. I understand that this is a lot of what parenting is about. Loving, supporting and preparing them so that we can let them spread their wings and fly. Fortunately for me, my little bird is only flapping his wings for seven hours tomorrow. Then it's back to our nest. And you can bet this mama bird will devour every morsel of the accounts of the day.
“The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.” (Frank Clark)