It’s August, the end of August to be more specific, and parents everywhere are getting their kids ready to go back to school. For the first time as a mom, this year, I am one of them.
Little Miss is starting pre-school in September. She has been home with me since she was born and now she is venturing out into the world on her own.
I was exclusively a stay-at-home mom until Little Miss was 18 months old, when I picked up a part-time job for some spare cash and a little me-time. Other than the few hours a week I go to work, or a doctor’s appointment or wedding here or there, the kids are with me the majority of the time. More than that, Little Miss has never gone anywhere and been dropped off without me or my husband. My parents have watched them, but no one else has.
I am so happy for her to be starting school. I think she is more than ready and I can’t help but feel that I can’t giver her everything she needs anymore. She needs to socialize and make friends. She needs structure and she needs to learn new things from someone she may not be as likely to whine to. I can’t wait to see her be a part of a class, and to pick her up from school and hear what she did for those long two and a half hours.
It’s going to be a weird transition for all of us. I am worried that she will be upset at first, being in a new place with new people without her mom to run back to, but I know she will get the hang of things. I just hope that those first uncomfortable moments don’t last too long.
And then there is Mr. Man. He has never had me all to himself, and suddenly we will have a bunch of one on one time. It will be nice to get to know each other in that way after spending almost two years navigating through our days as a group of three.
And then there’s me. I am an emotional rollercoaster on the best days. I wear my heart on my sleeve, love fiercely and feel everything deeply. I am quick to yell and I cry at commercials and videos of flash mobs. Dropping Little Miss off that first day is going to kill me. The drive home is going to be even worse. And I’ll likely cry like a baby at her cuteness when I pick her back up.
Because here’s the thing, these last few weeks before she starts pre-school are the last weeks of our old life, the only life we have known. After these few weeks, we will never be a group of three, led by a stay-at-home mom. Sure there will be summers, and holidays and winter break, but they are just days in between, and she will never again have nowhere to go when the vacation is over.
I am sending my daughter out into the world for the first time, and there is no going back. This is the first step to school, college, work, and her own life.
I am so excited for the path she has ahead, but I am not going to lie, I am a little bit heart broken. It feels like a giant ending, the first of many we will face through our parent-child relationship.
For now I am going to hold on to these last days, hug her tightly and memorize all of it. Then I will send her off to the world of circle times and move on to the next phase of life, because that’s what it is to be a parent. It’s all about hugging tightly, getting things ready and letting go.