Quite a few years ago when my oldest was just starting pre-school and I was a nervous wreck about it because good lord all the tears, not to mention that I had to literally drag him out of the van into school two days a week, I read something someone posted about how happy she was that school was starting back up again. She posted a photo of herself literally jumping for joy at the bus stop, and I remember thinking to myself that kind of sucked. At that time I couldn’t comprehend how she could be that happy about her kids leaving her every Monday through Friday, but now, four kids into this whole parenting gig and I get it.
I now know she wasn’t jumping for joy because she didn’t love her kids. I believe she was jumping for joy over the return to normalcy, having her routine back where backpacks would be lined up by the front door every night and kids would be in bed at a decent hour. I believe she was jumping for joy over knowing her kids would be doing important things like LEARNING again. I believe she was jumping for joy because she knew her kids would be spending all day with their friends and would have a hard time declaring I’M BORED! with a straight face when they stepped off the bus. And maybe, just maybe, a little part of her was jumping for joy over the few hours of alone time she would have everyday to take care of mundane tasks and herself. And you know what? All of that is okay. Totally okay.
Motherhood is a funny thing. We desperately want an hour to ourselves, but when we get it we think about the kids and look through our phones for pictures of them. It’s sort of that whole “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” thing, I guess. So while maybe on July 15th I felt super ready for the school year to start up again because all the bickering/whining/complaining/fighting/YELLING was driving me batty, tonight as I type this, the night before the first day of school, I have a horrible pit in my stomach over it. Because guess what? I’m going to miss them.
I feel confident, though, that sending my boys to school for those few hours a day is the best thing for all of us. They are learning so. much. stuff. Much more than they could EVER learn from me (textbook-wise, at least). They are interacting with their peers and problem solving on their own. They are developing relationships with other people who will laugh at their butt jokes and who won’t tell them to stop the potty talk because kids their age tend to like that sort of thing, too. Think it’s hilarious, even. They are becoming their own people, independent of me and my husband, and comfortable in their own skin, which is the totally awesome part of it. We’ve provided them with a strong enough foundation at home to know the difference between right and wrong and have taught them to be open-minded, loving, caring, empathetic people, so I know they’re well-equipped to spread their wings and fly. Soar, in fact.
So while I sit here with a pit in my stomach, a part of me is jumping for joy over what lies ahead for my boys this year. There will be highs and lows, laughter and tears, success and frustration, this I know, but it’s all part of navigating this crazy thing we call life. And maybe, just maybe, I’m jumping for joy a little over the thought of roaming the aisles of Target by myself.
Now excuse me while I grab a tissue and make lunches.