This post is publishing today, which must mean my sweet little boy has gone back to Kindergarten after 3 weeks off for the winter holidays. I know many parents count down to this day, and there’s even a Christmas song that mentions parents looking forward to their kids going back to school. But I’m not one of them.
Before my son started Kindergarten, I was looking at my calendar, thinking he would be off for the winter holidays for 2 weeks, which is what I had grown up with. I remember thinking 2 weeks wasn’t a long time. They would go by in the blink of an eye. I was relieved (yes, relieved) when I learned his winter break was 3 whole weeks.
Maybe, at this point, you might be thinking I’m a little weird. While I do enjoy getting to spend the time he’s away at school with my 2 year old daughter, I really, really, really like having both of my kids with me. I’m a bit of a control freak that way. Over the summer, I was sad when I realized my son wasn’t going to be having lunch with us every day, that I wasn’t going to get to make him a nice lunch he wouldn’t eat anyways. I was disappointed knowing he was going to do fun and amazing things in school without me. As a stay at home mom for most of his life, I had gotten so darn used to being involving with just about every minute of his life. Sending him to Kindergarten broke my heart. I could have homeschooled him. My husband and I still talk about it. But he loves his teacher, adores his classmates, and looks forward to going to school. It would be selfish of me to pull him out of something he enjoys just to satisfy my own needs. Besides, he doesn’t want me to be so present in his life anymore. He tells me to leave as soon as he walks through the gate at school. He’s definitely growing up too fast.
I’m too aware that kids grow up so fast, and it seems to be getting faster every year. Sometimes I long to be one of those parents who gets excited about sending their kids back to school and who enjoys imagining all the things they can do sans kids. Sometimes I want to be that kind of mom just so I can fit in. But I can’t do it. I can’t feel anything but dread about sending my son back to school. I just want him to stay with me forever.
Now, my son is a fairly typical child. He’s rambunctious, nutty, boy-level disgusting, loud, and stubbornly resistant to trying most foods. But he’s also incredibly adorable, extremely sweet, silly beyond words, and really adores his little sister. It’s been amazing to watch him grow up and become such a nice, sweet person who thinks about others. I just want to hug him and keep hugging him, but he’s not little and snuggly anymore. This kid wants his independence and it makes my heart ache to have to give it to him. But, as much as I want him to stay little forever, I also can’t wait to see him become an adult.
This year, I can’t help but feel sad about sending him back to school. Maybe, as he gets older, that will change, but, today, he’s still my little boy. I have a hard time letting him go not just because he’s a rainbow baby, but because he was also born early. I’ll always wonder how it might impact him behaviorally, socially, psychologically, emotionally, and academically, so not being privy to his every minute at school often feels excruciating. So, yes, I’m very sad this year, even though I know he loves school and will be learning amazing things.
As this posts, I’ve just dropped him off at school and am missing him terribly. He’s been such a huge part of my life for the past 5 years; it’s hard to let go. I’ve been so involved with him and he’s been my constant companion. I actually feel a little lost without him. It feels a lot like when I had a part-time job and wasn’t going to be with him every minute of the day and night. With time, we’ll readjust back to his school schedule. But I know I’ll be counting down to when I get to pick him up.
In a little over two months, I get to take him out of school early so we can go to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a visitor’s day tour, and I know I’ll be counting down more for my benefit than his even though he absolutely loves everything space related. And then summer vacation starts in about 5 months. I’m counting down. I am definitely counting down.