She did it. My oldest baby hopped on the bus to Kindergarten this morning. And the only tears were mine, for that I could not be more thankful. I don't know how in the world moms and dads do it with sad little faces looking up at them, saying they don't want to go. I think I'd have to homeschool at that point;). In all seriousness though, I feel beyond blessed that my baby girl was not only ready, but could hardly wait to get on that big yellow bus and head off to school. Makes it much easier on me. I keep looking at the clock, and counting down the minutes until she gets home...
There are so many reasons I love Facebook, a huge one being that there is always support when you need it. When my mom battled cancer in the spring (AND WON!!!), the amount of "friends" who offered prayers, take the kids, bring her dinner, was ENDLESS. To this day, people I haven't seen since childhood, will message me, asking how she's doing. It's amazing. And while I've had one heckuva time dealing with this whole kindergarten experience, the moms who've been through it, or the ones who are right there with me has been such a comfort. We all share our sob stories, and those who are in the other group of "can't WAIT for Kindergarten!!" have been just as helpful. Hearing their excitement for their kids, and the benefits, like having a conversation in peace, sure do work wonders. And for that, again, I am thankful.
I recently read an article interviewing Michael J. Fox, father of four, and one of the questions he was asked was, what's the hardest thing about parenting, in your opinion? He replied, "the fact that they have to grow up." He went on to explain how you spend those first several years literally by their side - watching their every move - holding their hand crossing the street, keeping them close at the pool, always within eye/ear sight. Then they grow up, and they don't need to wave to you when they get to the neighbor's house, or let you know where they are at all times. And that's hard. It's hard to let go, and to not know what they're doing, and to not be around them all the time, and them not needing you as much. I have to say, Michael, I could not agree more. And my oldest is only 5 years old!!! I can't imagine how hard it must be when they're teenagers. I mean, yes, sleepless nights when they're newborns is no walk in the park. Potty training - a total nightmare. The Terrible Twos, need I say more? But I knew those would be hard. I had no idea sending my girl off to Kindergarten would be this tough on me. I cried packing her lunch for goodness sake. I cried getting out her clothes. For real. Tough stuff, I tell you. Tough stuff.
So to get myself thinking happy thoughts, I thought it might be good to make a list of all the positive aspects of being down to just 2 kids (and just 1 two mornings a week when the preschooler starts on Tuesday!) on a daily basis. Here's what I came up with:
1. Shopping with less children. Always a plus, even if the kindergartener is always the best behaved. It's numbers, people. Less seatbelts to buckle, less heads to count when we go down aisles. For this is, I have to say, I'm stoked.
2. The younger two get along BEAUTIFULLY. Don't know if it's the close-in-age-sister thing that makes the girls bicker, but the middle child (girl), and youngest (boy) hardly EVER fight. I have to say, today has been pretty much a breeze. They don't fight over Barbies, or Polly Pockets, or these damn Squinkies that have taken over the house lately. They do their own thing, sometimes collaborate together, and it almost never ends in a fight. That's a beautiful thing.
3. My girl is beyond ready for Kindergarten - she would have gone last year if she was allowed! She's a bright girl (not just biased - she really is!), and I have never seen a brain so eager to learn. (And I was a teacher in my previous life!;). She just wants to know it all, craft it all, sing it all, read it all - she's going to L.O.V.E it. I know it.
4. Playdates with just my boy. Those mornings I drop #2 off at preschool, I plan on taking my boy to other BOYS' houses - I have several friends who will just have a boy or 2 around, and I am so excited for him to be the big boy and get to play with HIS friends for once. No pink in sight!
5. In just a day, I've noticed my middle child more, and what a delight she is. She always gets the rep of the "difficult one" but I think she's always in competition with her big sis, and it's tough to be the middle child. But now she's in charge. And she's been a dream all day. I don't think I've uttered those words about her more than 5 times in her 3 years...so this IS a good thing....;)
6. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Let's face it, by the end of the summer, we've all kinda had enough of looking at the same faces day in and day out. She's only been gone for 4 hours, and we all can't wait to see her get off that bus! I think the kids miss her (the youngest has asked for her quite a few times already), and I miss her. I'll be so excited to hear about her day, and surprise her with her big giant cookie (thank you Pinterest!), and she'll be happy to be home too. I've already thought about her days off, and making fun breakfasts and all that cheesy stuff...I'm such a dork with that kinda stuff, in case you hadn't picked up on that already;)
So I know in my heart, this is a good thing. But sometimes good things are hard things. Like watching your kids grow up. Of course that's a good thing for them, but breaks Mama's heart, I gotta say.