For years, all we could wish for was the day our children were bona fide school aged — and in school for a nearly full day. We used to wonder what it would be like to go for coffee, all alone, to meet a friend for lunch, to (gasp) go to Target ALONE. All without paying for childcare! It almost seemed like a dream — and about 100 years away.
This year, with our youngest in 1st grade, there’s a weird twist happening…we were actually sad to see them go. Finally the summer was truly enjoyable, fun, the kind of family ‘togetherness’ that you long for when they’re tiny and exhausting. Summer nights where you actually play board games after dinner and don’t care what time they go to bed (instead of, when they’re two years old, eyeing the clock and getting them tucked in as soon as humanly possible, wine in hand. Well who’s kidding who, we still have wine in hand).
This morning, I (Amy) walked the kids to school and had to hide my nervousness. I actually shed a tear hugging them in their classrooms. My daughter had to ask me if I was okay. They were completely fine. I, on the other hand, felt a kind of empty sadness as I walked home, alone. The silence was awkward. I took my dog for a looong walk, which was nice, and settled in to do some work. All I could hear was the absence of laughter, heavy feet thumping up and down the staircase, and the ‘MOM! MOM? MOM!!!’
It’s weird, those moments when you’re positive you’ll feel a certain way when….they get a little older, they can do more for themselves, you don’t have any more gear, they can go play by themselves. And then those times come….and a different feeling smacks you in the face.
We never used to understand when moms said ‘no, it doesn’t get any easier when they’re older…it’s just different.’ Now, we get it.