To the Preschool and Kindergarten Moms
Are you wondering what to do with yourself? I bet right now the house feels too quiet and empty. You are still at-the-ready to wipe up a mess, kiss a booboo, or provide yet another snack of yogurt or goldfish crackers. There were times this summer all you wanted was peace and quiet yet somehow this moment feels like it's too much. You're thinking, Is my baby okay? Do they have what they need? Will they make friends? Will the teacher understand their quirks or their lispy way of pronouncing certain words? Will they grow cranky midday and want a nap? These thoughts fill your head especially in the first week or month where time away from mom and dad takes some adjusting.
Before the first day, you were the dutiful mom purchasing all of the school supplies on time, labeling everything, laying out their perfectly coodinated first day of school clothes. Maybe you made a chalkboard sign or printed out a sheet with their grade in big, bold letters. You sent them off too school with backbacks that are almost as tall as they are and in that moment of them getting on the school bus or seeing them walk into their classroom, they seem so small. Your heart races. The thought briefly crosses your mind to homeschool them. You want to hold them close for just a little while longer. While many parents joke about wanting their kids back in school, I'm here to tell you that you will always feel that tug at your heart at the beginning of every school year. The routine of it gets easier but the feeling of your "heart on feet" walking around out in the world, that feeling never quite goes away. You have 18 Christmas/Chanukah celebrations before they head off to college. The saying "the days are long but the years are short" was never truer than at the beginning of every school year. If you don't have children old enough yet, take a look at photos of your friend's children posted every September. The transition from chubby cheeks to gangly middle schoolers happens in the blink of an eye.
So, when they come home from school, hold them for as long as they will let you. Give them love even when they are being difficult. Chances are that's when they need it most. Tell them you love them even when the sentiment is eventually met with a preteen's eyeroll. They want to hear it even if they act otherwise. I guarantee you that when they walk across the stage during their high school graduation, they will scan the audience looking for you and they may even offer a knowing smile. They will always be your baby and you will always be their momma.