The silence is almost palpable. My daughter is napping and my son is at kindergarten for his first full day.
In typical Murphy’s law predictability, my son stopped napping the month after his sister was born. If you’ve ever taken care of young ones, you know that naps are golden. When all the children in the house are napping there may be time for Momma to put her feet up, which is precious in the early months of four to five hours of sleep a night. When someone doesn’t nap, Momma is on duty from 5:30 a.m. (in my case) until 8:30 p.m. with no lunch, bathroom or sanity break. (Oh wait! I was on duty all night too!)
In those early, early months of being a mother of two, I would sometimes look ahead and count up the years and months until my son would head to kindergarten. Days that felt like weeks and hours that felt like days were often wrapped up in a big ball of guilt because I wasn’t enjoying every second of motherhood. It goes without saying that I love my children fiercely, but most days a break would have made stay-at-home motherhood a lot easier.
The finish line of having two young ones at home is here and I have mixed feelings. Part of my boy is still that tiny baby who I rocked for hours and sang a million verses of “You Are My Sunshine” to; the little boy who would burrow his tiny face into my chest and smile big cheeky grins as we played in the sunbeam on the carpet.
He was my initiation into parenthood. He put up with my mistakes, shrugged them off and loved me intensely anyways.
Since I’m a teacher, people have asked me if I will home school. My son is so blatantly, obviously ready for kindergarten that the thought of home schooling him just seems wrong. He’s got one foot out the door and to slam it would be to shut down this whole natural rhythm of letting go.
When his sister and I waited with him for his teacher to open the classroom door today, he was full of nervous excitement. His favourite stuffie was tucked into the new Superman lunch kit, the little doggie face peeking out to give my son the boost of courage he needed. There were no tears, from him or I. I felt a little choked up. The day was so BIG.
The bell rang and he ran into line with the other kids without looking back. I turned to strap my daughter into her stroller and suddenly felt a leg-crushing hug from behind. “I just needed one more hug, Momma.” So did I little bud. So did I.