Tomorrow, my oldest starts Kindergarten.
A week ago, I was counting down the days to the start of school. We have struggled this summer: butting heads, having discipline setback after setback, and to be honest, I was craving a little distance from my stubborn five year old.
Now. It’s here. And I am a mix of pride, terror, sadness, joy and trepidation. He’s going to take a big step up into that bright yellow school bus tomorrow morning and I won’t know a thing about what is happening to him until he steps back off 8 hours later.
His teacher seems fantastic. The school is stellar. The neighborhood’s older kids will certainly look out for him on the bus. He will be fine.
While I will be a puddle of mess tonight, tomorrow morning and as I stand waiting for him to disembark at 3:15.
Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I was sitting in this same spot, pounding down the ice cream, swollen ankles propped on the sofa waiting as day after day after day after my due date passed? Wasn’t it just yesterday afternoon that I swayed my little one in my arms to our special song? Wasn’t it just last night that he was still a toddler when I snuck in his room to check on him? Wasn’t it just this morning that he started preschool?
Because those moments are simply a heartbeat away, tomorrow will be tough. Because those moments are simply a heartbeat away, tomorrow will be easy. I know there are many new experiences to come, funny stories to hear, comfort to be offered.
At some point, I’ll have to deal with my own changes. Kindergarten means a new role for me, too. I’m not sure what it will entail or how different it will be from the roles I have now. So much of my decision to stay home hinged on the vague, “until the kids are in school.” Tomorrow marks the beginning of that time. Granted, I’ve already started opening that door with part time work and I have several years before the little dude is ready for Kindergarten, it’s simply strange to think that the past six years have slipped so effortlessly into space.
Tomorrow I will embrace the feelings that I have. I will accept the tears, fill my day with mimosas and conversation at a neighbor’s back to school party, and relish the excitement on my big guy’s face when he bounds down the steps of that bus in the afternoon.
As much as I want to hang on, this is my moment to let go.