Monday, August 23, 2010

And their off ...

I can tell you exactly what I did ... with all three of the kids ... as I dropped them off for their first day of kindergarten.

I cried when I dropped Breeanna off at her first day of kinderten ... hard. I cried REALLY hard.

I cried when I dropped Harleigh off at her first day of kindergarten ... quickly. I cried before I even kissed her good-bye.

I cried, today, when I dropped Eythen off at his first day of kindergarten ... for a long time. I made it till Clint and I got out the back doors ... and then the tears just started to fall. And the fell ... and they fell ... and they continued to fall clear until we got into the truck. No wait ... they still fell. They fell as we were driving back home, as we pulled into the driveway ... and as we sat in the kitchen ... with the silence surrounding me.

For the first time ... in 9 years ... my house is completely quiet.

For 9 years ... there has been Dora the Explorer and Back Yardigans playing through out the house, there has been "MOMMMMMMYYYYYYY" screamed till the wondows shook, there has been opportunities for books to be read, adventures to the park, cuddles time in bed, naps during the day, someone asking me if I wanted to play, countless games of CandyLand, "Mommy I am hungry", someone holding my hand as we walked into a store, convseration from the backseat as we drove to and from, scrapes that needed Mommy's kisses with a Hello Kitty or Scooby Doo bandaid, hugs at random moments, giggles that echoed throughout the house because the tickle Monster came out of no where, or those special words of ... "Mommy, can I sit on your lap?" that every Mommy lives for.

Now ... nothing.

Not a sound.

No chaos.

No temper tantrums.

No whining.

No nothing until 3:25 in the afternoon.

I am one of the "those" Mom's that cry at every milestone of my children's lives ... I cry when "Happy Birthday" is sang to them each and every year. I cry on their first day of school. I cry on their last day of school. I cry at special moments where I sit back and watch them shine. I cry at the girls dance receital. I cried when Eythen hit his first homerun and scored his first soccer goal. I cried when Breeanna scored the winning point at her volleyball game. I cried when Harleigh had her first gymnastics meet. I cry when they cry. That is who I am ... and I am not embarrassed or ashamed for being "that kind of Mom".

It is hard to know that I am no longer the one that will be there every single moment of their lives. I will not be the one and only person who can solve their problems. Fix their bo-bo. Reassure them when they are scared. High-five them the exact moment that they figure out somthing new for the very first time. Wipe away their tears.

Their teacher is gonna be taking on my roll in their little lives now. From 7:30 to 3:30 Monday through Friday ... it is no longer me ... it is the "other woman" in their lives.

But ... on the brightside. I will be the one they come running to with huge smiles when the school doors open. I will be the first to hear about what they did at school-who they played with-what they ate-who they saw-what they heard-what story was read to them. I will be the one the school nurse calls to come to the rescue when they have a tummy ache-fever-thrown up-or need a new pair of pants brought to the school because they spilt milk on their clothing. I will be the one that gets to hear the praise and comments from the teachers at parent/teacher conferences about how my children have good manners and are poliete to everyone (well ... so we hope that is what I hope to always hear). I will be the one that gets to open the report card and smile because they have worked so hard ... and the report card shows it. I will be the one that gets to wave to them as they are up on stage during a school program. I will be the one that stays up all night making sure all three kiddos take 3 or 4 homemade cookies ... per student ... to their classroom parties. I will also be the one that delievers all of those cookies to the classrooms and snaps photos of their classroom parties. I will be the one that gets to have lunch and volunteer in their classrooms. I will be the one that gets to experience school through thier eyes.

As with every other step along this parenting journey ... friends, family and even strangers offered opinions on how I would feel when I dropped my child off on their first day of kindergarten. I did not have a clue what I would do when that door closed and I got that last glimpse of them ... for seven long hours. The one thing that I did know ... was that they would be crowding my thoughts for those seven hours. I would be wondering ... what were they doing, what were they thinking, if they were ok, if they were eating their lunch and using their manners, if they miss me ... or their siblings ... or their dad, if they were scared, if other kids were being nice to them ... and if not ... did they need their Mommy to come and kid some kids unpoliete butt for them???

But all in all ... that nervous-anxious-excited-weird feeling that was in the pit of Breeanna, Harleigh and Eythen's stomach ... on thier very first day of kindergarten.

You know ...

"That feeling" ...

The feeling of ... Who will be my friends? Will the work be hard? What if I don't know what to do?

Those feelings that each of my kids had ... I was having in my own way ... at this very moment ... as I dropped my baby off for his first day of kindergarten.

I knew exactly what they had been feeling. I knew. Because after being a full time Mom and part time everything else for 9 years now ... sending my youngest today ... marked a new beginning for me as well.

"What are you going to do now that all 3 kids are in school full time" everyone keeps asking me.
I just keep finding myself dodging that question like it is some foreign disease that is gonna wipe out the whole planet. Instead of realizing that no one is at home that really "needs me" anymore ... I choose to say that I am gonna volunteer, drive them to and from every activity known to man kind, enjoy them while they still want me to attend their school functions and just being the best Momm and Wife that I know how. But I deep down know ... that that part of me ... dodging the question ... is just like any other 5 year old on thier first day of kindergarten ... walking down that long hallway not knowing what to expect, nervous, anxious and excited all rolled into one.
It is scarey ... but I guess I need to put on my big girls pants and be as brave as all 3 of my kids were ... when I dropped them off on their first day of kindergarten.

Eythen ... It feels like your Dad and I have been counting down to this moment since you were born ... "Can you believe in three years he’ll go to school?" ... "Next year at this time he’ll be in school." ... "Only two more months until school." But now, when time has felt less like a marathon and more like a 50-yard sprint ... we are sending you off with your markers and pencils, a Transformers lunch box and colored folders. I love you, E-Man. I can hardly wait till the school bells rings are I see you and your sisters darting out of the school buildings ... with a huge smiles on your faces ... ready to talk 90 miles an hour about your day to me.


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