It’s that time of year again when my Facebook feed is flooded with the shining faces of children heading off to their first day of school. Homemade chalkboard signs held by eager little hands commemorate the passage of time and new beginnings.
Now here we are, about a week into it. But we’re still in the mode of sleeping in, loosely planning our days, and frolicking in the freedom of schedule free life.
Yes, I read the sensible recommendations to adjusting routines at least a week prior to the start of school. In addition, I know I should’ve been prepping snacks and lunches in preparation for a smooth transition from summer to school.
But I’m not doing it. I’M NOT READY.
Now I didn’t say my children aren’t ready to go back to school. I am confessing that I am the one who’s not.
It’s not just the usual complaint of kids growing up too fast and flying by. It’s not even that I just wish to live out my days as a beach bum.
While these things may be true, the real reason I’m not ready is because I STILL HAVE BABIES.
It was merely yesterday I was up in the middle of the night, reading by the glow of the Babycenter app.
Wasn’t I just on Pinterest pinning baby weaning ideas, sleep strategies, and most heartbreakingly, nursery color schemes? Up until now, my days have have centered around baby story time, mommy and me playgroups, and the cherished NAPS.
Now, I won’t lie. I do look forward to times when my house is empty and I can absorb a few moments of precious silence, savor a coffee, and catch up on the mundane chores of the household in peace.
But I’m not ready to have kids who go to school.
There are now TWO school calendars on my refrigerator. And they are legit. They’re filled with school holidays, pageants, PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES! This is all new, unchartered territory. AND I’M NOT READY.
Of course the reason we raise children is to prepare them for the next steps in life as they grow and thrive in the world.
But they’re leaving me behind.
I know these are just baby steps.
My kids are still little and there’s a ways to go before they’re both off to school full time and I’m retreating back into the house with tears of loneliness. (At least until I remember I could, theoretically, crawl back into bed for an hour and STILL catch up on the housework…or the Real Housewives).
What’s easy to forget is those baby years weren’t all roses and sweet rock a byes.
There were countless moments in the midst of baby madness when I longed for the day they would be older and more independent. When they wouldn’t need help with every. last. thing.
But with each step in that direction, my heartstrings pull me back. I know that every time a new chapter begins, one has to end.
So I will dutifully send my kids to preschool next week and even bravely entertain the idea of my oldest riding the bus. I’ll be wishing they could stay and lay all day in my big bed, watching TV and planning adventures for our day together.
But instead, I’ll let them grow up just a little bit more, and strive to savor the sweetness of new beginnings.
And the sweet smell of a coffee drank slowly and silently.