Back to School

So yesterday I drop my son off for his first day of real, all day school. He looked so grown up in his uniform, which he had on by 6:30 in anticipation of our 7:50 departure time. He showed me the contents in his book bag for the umpteenth time, telling me what each thing was. His excitement was contagious.

He said to me, "This is going to be really different for us." (This sounds rather mature, I know; but he's merely repeating what I've said to him.) "We're not going to be together all day anymore. No more lunches, and no more going places -- except on weekends." I said, "I know. How do you feel about that?" To which he replies, "Awesome. I'm kinda tired of seeing you all the time."

Now you really have to know my son to understand his personality. He's a card, always trying to be smart-alecky in a fun, respectful way. He's a charmer. He is very much like me, I'm afraid (except for the charming part; I'm not charming): independent, and always trying to get away with stuff. When he can't, which is most of the time, he whines for a minute -- then gets over it pretty quick. Suffice it to say, there is absolutely no separation anxiety going on. He's ready to go; and as much as I love him, I'm ready for him to go, too. It's been a long six years together.

So I couldn't help but notice when his dad and I arrive at his classroom yesterday with all the other parents that one mom comes out crying pretty bad. I felt badly for her, and I respect how she feels. But I can't relate whatsoever.

Fifteen minutes later my husband is treating me to a latte where apparently a lot of other parents from school -- or moms, anyway -- thought they'd go. I run into one from my son's class and she says, "Feeling pretty good today?" Of course I'm smiling from ear to ear and say yes. She agrees. Then I mention the mom who was crying and she says, I know. To which I say, I understand...but I'm just not there.

"Neither am I," she says.

Ten years is a long time to be home full-time with children -- at least by today's standards. I can't remember what it's like to come and go as I please; that's how long it's been. But the truth is that my feelings today are not like that other mom's. I feel a bit like I did at high school graduation -- when I couldn't wait for the next stage of my life. In fact right now I feel like I truly have it all: Half the time I get to enjoy being autonomous and bring back some sense of order to my life -- and the other half I get two beautiful children to care for.

Life is good.

1 Response to “Back to School”:

  1. Bill Venker says:

    The charming part must come from your husband, who is also a "smart aleck" I might add.