Monday, September 01, 2008

The Day is Near

The first day of the school is on September 2 this year. We'll bring the boy to the schoolyard where the rest of the students, all several hundred of them, will congregate. We will look for the big "3" among the sea of heads to find out which placard holder will be his teacher. It will be chaotic.

And then the "other" first day of school, will be September 3. The monumental one. The first day of kindergarten for the little G.

When we decided that it made so much sense for me to stay home with the kids almost four years ago, I was thrilled. To be able to spend such quality time and actually be present for the first big steps in my daughter's life and see firsthand the continuing progress of my little man - what a gift.

But four years goes by so quickly. I hadn't thought much about this upcoming milestone. Perhaps it's because she's always been so independent, wishing that she could like her big brother and hang out with the other big kids. Constantly telling me that she's a big girl now and not my baby. She's never been too much of a baby to me.


Over lunch one day this past week, my boy, the first baby, my sensitive one, asked me:

"Hey Mom, when G's in school, won't you really, really miss her?"
It took me aback a bit. And I replied:

"Well, she's been in preschool a couple of mornings a week, so it won't be such a big change."
"Mom, I know you're used to me being gone for a full 6 hours, but you've been with just G everyday. For three whole years!! I guess it will be different when she's in full-day school."
Little G piped in : "Yeah, 'cuz I'm a big girl and I'll be in kindergarten with my best friend."
The conversation then turned to something completely different. I think it was the weather.

As a mother, I tend to operate more on the "drill sergeant" end of the spectrum. I don't really get too sentimental, I lack patience, and even though I do love to cuddle with my kids and give them spontaneous hugs and kisses, sometimes I feel that I can even be downright cold. At least that's my self-perception.

But after the kids left the table and I was by myself in the kitchen, washing the dishes, seeing the water swirl down the drain ... I started to cry. Just a little.

My baby, my littlest one, will be starting school. She is so excited. She will sail through her first day. She will not look back. She may even forget to say goodbye to me. I know this with such certainty.

There's a part of me that wishes we could just have a little more summer, a little more sun, a little more play.

"On an island in the sun
We'll be playing and having fun..."*

The rush to grow up, it's just starting. I know it isn't nearly as huge as this.

But honestly, right now, this is the most I can handle. And barely at that.

(*Who knew I was such a Weezer fan. I can't get this tune out of my head these past few days...)


Frances said...

What a sweet post... The first day Stella goes to school is still roughly 2 years away for us and I get weepy just thinking about it now. I hope the day goes smoothly for you.

April said...

It's better to be prepared, I think. I'd been so busy worrying about after-school care and making sure the registration was done that the emotional stuff didn't hit me until Riley was in class, raising her hand for the first time. I started crying and wept all the way to work!

Immoral Matriarch said...

That's so sweet, and I love the picture!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Nice, very nice.

Maureen said...

Aw, you're just like the rest of us. My daughter forgot to say goodbye too... that was 12 years ago. This is her last year of high school... Wow, how the time goes by in a rush!

Kami said...

I hear you! It's a whole year away for me and I am already getting sappy about it...Time, it goes by way to fast....

But isn't wonderful knowing that she is so confident and ready to go out on her own? You done good Momma, you done good!

Ginaagain said...

Oh crap, now I'm crying.

My baby is a great big fourth grader this year. I don't know where the time went.

louann said...

I hope everything goes well!! I think it's good you're also looking forward to it but 4 years with the little G IS 4 years.

gmcountrymama said...

T started Kindergarten last Tuesday. I practically ran over people on my way out. I was soo excited to have the whole day to myself. It wasn't until Friday that it started to hit me. I missed my little guy being around all day, especially his non-stop chatter, which I used to become very annoyed with!

Anonymous said...

You are doing a damn good job with those two. This is just another bump. *hug*

Nan Patience said...

I'm a little bit of a drill sargent myself, I feel I've got to be. When they were babies it was different, and I loved smothering them in kisses and hugs and nurturing their every need. Now there need to be so many boundaries, they need to take responsibility, and I need to also have something going on for myself now that they're bigger. It's hard sometimes to let down the defenses and have those deep loving thoughts for them, missing them, wondering where time goes, feeling a little sorry for ourselves... *sigh* * sniff*

Colleen said...

Oh...I'm right there with ya. I *not* a softie, but next year, when my oldest goes off to school - I'll need tissues! (He, too, won't bat an eye!)

LaskiGal said...

And I'm gonna cry just a tiny, itty bitty bit for you . . .

You did good momma, really, really good :)

I'll be where you are in no time. I realize this. And that makes me need another tissue.

Simon said...

Our two had their first school days this week. Our four-yeard-old took it all in her stride and loved it. Our two-and-a-half-year-old can be a little clingy in the mornings, but loves it once she's in.
They're all growed up!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Bittersweet doesn't come close to describing it.

Kimmylyn said...

I am sooo not ready for any of it..

And the picture is adorable..

PS.. I love how aware your little man is.. too cute.

OHmommy said...

That was so sweet... I am having many of the same emotions too.

dkuroiwa said...

So...did we have a cosmic moment or what? Maybe just a case of 'great minds' thinking alike on today's posts!!
Tonight on the way home, Koji was talking about buying the official backpack that every elementary student carries (for all 6 years!!). Though he doesn't need it until April, he thinks we need to get one NOW!! Such a hurry our little ones are in!
I can see many more teary post writing and reading over the next few months!!
I'm thinking we should start a club!!

dkuroiwa said...

oh that beach photo with you and your 'snug as a bug in a rug' little one!! :-D

C said...

Oh my gosh, Karen! Did this post ever make me cry!!!

Amazing how observant Liam is and that he came up with that question for you.

Gah! This post is just so bittersweet! Love the photo, btw!

Badness Jones said...

I was pretty cool about the girlie starting Kindergarten...but I know when it's last baby....I am going to blubber like a baby. And then I'll heave a giant sigh of relief and go off to have a coffee and read a magazine in peace.

Yay little G! You must be so proud of her.

Kat said...

Aww, it brought tears to my eyes too, and I'm quite a way from this day. All that stuff about enjoying/appreciating every moment because they go so fast, is true. It took me a while to figure that one out, and its still hard to remember on a daily basis!

Caffeine Court said...

My little one started Kindergarten on Wednesday, and when I got home the house was so QUIET. It was an empty hollow feeling.

Then I went to the supermarket ALONE and the pain subsided a bit.

Lovely post.


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