My youngest starts kindergarten this Fall. I know, cue the tears. So much of me wants her to stay with me forever. You see, after she was born, I chose to be a stay-at-home-mom so I could spend more time with her and her big brother. So, after five years, I'm feeling nostalgic that the baby years will be all over soon. But if I'm being honest, I can almost taste my freedom — and it tastes pretty damn sweet.
As with most stages of motherhood, sending your baby off to kindergarten stirs up a lot of emotions. It's a real push and pull. One moment, I want to grip onto her dress and never let go. I cherish our moments together after naptime when she climbs up onto my chair only to curl her body into mine. "Will you scratch my back, Mommy?" she asks. "Of course," I always respond. But those days and precious moments will be gone as she struts off to school. And strut she will. Because just because I'm not 100 percent ready, I know that she is prepared. I'll have to loosen my grip, and instead, give her a hug, and tell her I love her as I watch as she walks away from me and into school with her teacher.
While I've replayed what that moment will be like in my head over and over (and gotten teary-eyed every time, by the way), I daydream about my freedom, too. As a parent who works part-time outside of the home and works from home the rest of the time, I'm looking forward to the ability to actually get some of that work done. I mean, I'll actually be able to write an article start to finish in one sitting. I won't have to get up to get anyone more Goldfish, fill a sippy cup, or wipe a poopy butt. I might even be able to use the bathroom myself without getting bombarded with 32 questions all at once. Go ahead, signal the harps to play their music and the angels to sing, because the idea of solitude and silence sounds pretty amazing, if you ask me.
No, I won't love every minute of the quiet. I'm sure there will be days where the silence will scream and I will ache for times of the past when both of my children were home with me. I'll miss reading books with them nuzzled on the couch, strolls to the park, and pushing them on the swings. That's why sending your last off to kindergarten messes with your mind so badly. One minute, you can't wait. And then the very next, you want to hold onto it forever.
Regardless of when your children go off to kindergarten, know that you aren't alone in the many emotions that will swirl within you daily. But you'll get through it. Because your children will only continue to amaze you as they grow up. They'll show you how much they can learn and how kind they can be to everyone at school. You'll hear things from their teachers that will make you cry the happiest tears of your life. And with that you'll know that you're doing a good job — even after they go off to school and out of your arms.