Six years ago I was sitting on the couch, nursing a baby, when I had this moment of revelation: “It’s going to be at least FIVE MORE YEARS until I will have rest or time to myself again.”
At the time we had an infant, a 2 year old and a three year old (and a 12 year old, but she doesn’t figure in to this thought process because of her age). I was surrounded by constant noise, motion, needs and chaos. I wasn’t sleeping during the night or day, and I was exhausted.
Not unusual for a mom with kids in this age range.
Anyway, I remember distinctly thinking, in one of my tired-er moments, that it would be a long time before I would have any sort of discretionary time again.
I quickly rebuked myself, because we’re “supposed to” treasure every moment, but that’s how I felt at the time, as an exhausted mama. It’s not that we, moms, don’t love and enjoy our kids – it’s just that it’s hard work.
Fast forward to today – the moment has arrived. I just dropped my three younger kids off at school. This is Christopher’s first year of full day school and I am not at all ready to let him go. I know it’s necessary and it would be completely inappropriate not to hit these milestones, but still.
Really, I wasn’t ready to drop any of them off today. I considered scrapping the whole thing at the last minute, in favor of homeschooling. No big deal…surely I could pull that off in a pinch, right?
Back to reality. We got ready, took pictures with our friends and went to school. Corban headed off to class without me. I walked Riley down to hers and it was an easy transition.
There were some tears from Christopher – he didn’t want to go to school for seven hours. I refrained from telling him that I don’t want him to go, either, and that I’ll miss my lunch buddy.
Instead, I told him that he can do hard things. He’s strong and God is with him. He isn’t alone and I know he will have a good day with his teacher and friends. I left him with a big hug and walked out the door.
I actually didn’t break down and cry. Miraculous. Now, in two weeks when I drop Caeley off at college, it will be a whole new ballgame. This is a big year for us. The littlest headed off to big school and the oldest is leaving the nest altogether.
That moment on the couch six years ago was real. It’s where I was. But, today it’s the total opposite – I want them all to stay home with me.
Have my cake and eat it, too? Yes, I think I will, thankyouverymuch.
I’ll be fine in a few hours or days. They’ll continue to grow into smart, mature, responsible, humans, just as they ought to do. It would be really weird to have my kids still clinging to me when they’re supposed to be exercising some independence. And we don’t want weird, do we?
I guess I’ll console myself by doing what stay at home moms do…head out to buy my first box of bon-bons. I think some Christopher Elbow chocolates will do just fine.