It’s that time … back to school. Some moms jump for joy and others shed tears of bittersweet sadness when the day rolls around. I have always been somewhere in the middle. Excited for a routine and a new year of experiences and opportunities. But I also get bummed to see another summer end, the transition of not being with my boys all day (and of course the daily struggle of the wretched alarm clock.)
One thing I absolutely didn’t expect this year was the overwhelming feelings I would have sending my oldest off to high school. I have always loved his milestones. Pre-school didn’t phase him or me. Kindergarten, I was actually thrilled as he was ready and so was I. Junior High we both had a few nerves but they were completely erased after a quick visit.
BUT HIGH SCHOOL. How did we get here? Really … someone tell me … how are we already at this moment?
Honestly I hadn’t thought twice about it all summer. We have many milestones this year with all l three boys at new schools. Our middle guy is starting junior high and the “baby” is off to pre-k … all day, every day.
Sure I was a little apprehensive about the high school scene. Last steps before college. The importance of these years. The warning I have received of how fast they will go.
But what I didn’t expect was the enormous rush of emotions that filled me when Ben and I pulled into the high school parking lot today.
My anxiety was overwhelming. The pit in my stomach was aching … a powerful mix of nausea and fear. The school…so much bigger and complex than the one I attended almost 20 years ago. The entire time we walked and talked my eyes were burning, the lump in my throat was growing larger and larger. I was incessantly blinking to keep the tears from falling.
Ben was calm and cool and fortunately has a way better sense of direction than his mother ever has. After one quick walk-through he knew the lay-out and didn’t give it a second thought. He had not a worry in the world! And I had 119.
All I could think in this blur of emotion was how the hell did we get here? I feel like it wasn’t that long ago that I was walking the hallways of high school. I had big dreams, goals, aspirations. Figuring out who I was … or trying to.
It feels like I was just dropping him off for a few hours at pre-school. Kindergarten feels like it could have been last year. I blinked and nine years flew by.
What they say is really true. We only get our kiddos for a very, very short time. We get roughly 18 precious years to love on them, spend time with them, teach them, mentor them, and prepare them to be successfully independent in the big world.
I know it’s tough to send our babies off when they hit that HUGE milestone of kindergarten … I feel for all you mamas who are doing that this year. I would like to say the first days of school get easier. But this year I realized some milestones are even tougher.
We are entering the last few chapters of Ben’s childhood story. And it hurts. Really, really bad. More than I ever could have imagined. If someone had told me I would be this emotionally conflicted even a year ago I would have rolled my eyes explaining how I wasn’t that “type” of mom. I love my independence and they love theirs. It’s all part of life.
Now with another summer gone we are another year closer to these boys growing up and leaving our nest. One less year filled with family trips, fun, chaos, and having all five of us under one roof. Watching seasons of their lives ending and new ones beginning and knowing we will never ever get this point in time back.
This my friends puts a smile on my face but also a tear in my eye. I realize the older I get and the older THEY get the more I become that “type” of mom. After years of fighting it, I am ready to join all my fellow teary-eyed mamas and embrace being that sentimental mom.
Lord help me when it’s time for college. My husband better start stocking up on tissues and cases of wine. Good luck to all the amazing kids (and parents) out there. Have the best year ever!