I love back-to-school season and the rhythm that it brings. I’m the type of person who craves order and routine. While it can be chaotic juggling homework, activities, and packing lunches, it’s an organized chaos. My son is in Pre-K and my daughter is in first grade. I’m happy to say we officially made it through the first week of school. My son is still at his same day care center so there’s not much difference in our routine, but my daughter now has a full school day. Kindergarten was only 2 ½ hours, so she’s in the big leagues now with busing, lunch, recess, and more specials like music and art. I was so excited for her to have a true elementary school experience. But my focus these past few weeks has been on organizing. There were school supplies to be bought, items to be labeled, and forms to fill out. I could hardly sleep the night before the first day. Even though I was fully prepared, the anticipation kept me awake.
On Monday, we had meet the teacher and school supply drop off. The school gave a 45 minute window that we could come, but I wanted to get there promptly at 8:30 because I had a train to catch. Many other parents had the same idea because they were waiting outside in a line that appeared to stretch around the block. Finally a door opened and we were shepherded in like cattle. My anxiety was building thinking about my train, but I wanted to make sure I got her settled. And I didn’t want to pass along any of my anxiety, which made me even more anxious. We got to her room and introduced ourselves to her teacher. Then my daughter helped me put all of her supplies in the correct places. I lingered for another ten minutes and then it was it was time to head out. I asked her if she was okay with me leaving, and she gave me a big smile and nodded. After exchanging hugs and kisses I was out the door, feeling relieved. As I started driving to the train station, I was surprised to find myself getting emotional. The realization hit me that my kids are growing up.
My husband and I always say how we cannot wait for the day until our kids are self-sufficient. Wouldn’t it be so nice for them to wake up, turn on the TV, and make their own breakfast instead of waking us up at an ungodly hour? And wouldn’t it be nice when they are old enough to stay home on their own so we don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a babysitter? And won’t it be so nice when we can get rid of all of the toys so our house won’t be so cluttered and we could take back perhaps a room even? As much as I want all of those things, I don’t want them just yet. What I want is for my daughter to still be willing to give me a hug and kiss in front of her friends. What I want is for my son to still want to play with me and go ecstatic when we see a fire truck driving down the street. He is a mama’s boy and while I sometimes complain about it, I know the day will come when he won’t sit in my lap for a book or run up to give me a hug the second I walk into the house. These are the moments that matter. So as much as I think I want to hurry up time to fast forward to the easy part, I know life is never easy and the future will only bring new challenges. So for now, I’m content to hurry up and…wait.