I used to imagine what it would be like, when both my boys started elementary school. That first day felt so impossibly far away, hard to picture during what felt like endless diaper changes and temper tantrums (sometimes my own, sometimes the children’s). I knew my boys were growing, but when you’re part of the day in, day out of life, it’s hard to see it at times. It doesn’t feel tangible.
Today is the day.
This past week, I imagined what I’d feel like, saying goodbye to my little guy. I’ve already been there, done that with the big kid, so you’d think this is old hat for me, but it doesn’t feel that way. My two are nearly six years apart in age. So, I can’t help feeling as though this is my baby, the end of some sort of era, the beginning of something new, something different. So many changes.
Both boys handled today like pros. The big kid found friends to hang out with, bidding me goodbye with a wave and a smile. He walked right up to one of them, high-fiving and becoming part of his group. I escorted the little guy to his classroom, where his loving teacher waited to hug each and every one of her students. He found his seat, complete with a name tag right on his desk. After hanging his backpack on his chair, he sat down and looked up at me, expectantly. I knew my reaction meant everything to him in that moment. Would Mommy cry? Would she be afraid, or nervous? Worried?
I swallowed my tears and smiled down at him. He smiled back with ease. He grabbed his pencil case and opened it up, pulling out a crayon to color with. I knew he was ready for me to leave him to it, no tears. No fuss. My independent little guy. So, I said I’d see him later, that I’d be right where I needed to be to pick him up from his class. Such a smooth transition, going from toddler, to preschooler, to kindergartner.
I’m transitioning, too. I have to. Not an easy feat for someone who isn’t always the biggest fan of changes. I cling to the past, to the nostalgia of what once was. Which is why I couldn’t help picturing this little guy vs. the one I just dropped off at school this morning:
My boys aren’t the only ones who are going to school. In the vein of bettering myself, I’ve enrolled in a community college near me, starting classes next month. Well, class. Having never been a big fan of school, I’ve decided to take it slow and try one class, first, seeing how I feel about it. It’s a writing class two mornings a week, and I’m hopeful I’ll learn a lot about the proper structuring and flow to a story.
This lends into my goal of completing the novel I’ve shelved for the past ___ years. I’m so close, I can nearly feel the finality of it, and I’m desperate for that. I want to finish it.
Today is also my anniversary. I’ve been married seven years, or what my mother in law has termed, “the seven year itch”. She said the trick to getting through that tumultuous seventh year, is to make sure we’re keeping busy and finding projects or hobbies to engage in. I feel as though we’re both so busy with our family, our personal interests and our interpersonal ones as well, there’s no risk of boredom!
It doesn’t feel like seven years. I can’t imagine ever getting “bored” with him. I recently told him he’s the blank in my life. He looked quizzically at me, while I explained to him that he’s my _____________. (best friend, lover, partner, partner in crime, cohort, rock, supporter, etc.) He’s the fill in the blank, everything to me, for so many reasons. I wouldn’t have it any other way, either.
Some doors are closing. I can feel the changes, the end of what once was, but that only means new doors will open for me, my children, my husband. For our family. I’m trying to look forward more, instead of always looking behind me, and appreciate what potentially lies in store for us. Here’s to new beginnings, and to many more years together!