I joked about it earlier this week, but it isn’t funny. Tomorrow is the day. He goes to school all day. Every day. All day.
It doesn’t matter that I adore his teacher. She is amazing and she’ll love on him and appreciate him for who he is and she’ll help him to learn and grow and she’ll do all of the great stuff you would want a teacher to do. I’ve known her for years and I trust her beyond measure.
I’m a wreck. Why is everything so much harder with the youngest one?! Why is the first of anything he does as the “last” one so much more traumatic for me? It is because there are NO MORE!!! Every milestone he passes represents the last time I’ll enjoy that event. It means my babies are growing up. Sure, I still have many, many “firsts” to experience with my children, but there are no more first baby things. No more first steps, no more first words, first rollovers, first smiles. No more firsts! The first day of kindergarten, to me, is the last day of his babyhood. I fully understand now why families have 19 kids. Because watching those baby years end is so monumentally painful! Today, is the last day that I get to spend all day at home with him while the older kids and Daddy are off on their own. I’m holding him too much and kissing him too much and just too muching him all over the place. At one point today he looked at me and said, “Oh! You are really crying because you have real tears. Don’t worry, Mama. I’ll be alright.”
Oh, Sweetheart. I know you’ll be all right. You are going to be amazing! It’s me who is falling apart. My sweet boy offered to cry a little tomorrow or worry a little if it would make it easier for me. No, I told him. It is so hard to explain to a five year old so I told him that, sometimes, mamas get so filled up with love for our babies that we just can’t hold it in and it comes out of our eyeballs in our tears. He doesn’t understand that tomorrow he’ll grow up. Tomorrow he’ll become one of the big kids who goes to school with a Superhero lunchbox and never again gets to have his own jammie day and scarf popcorn and candy at inappropriate times of the day. He doesn’t know what that means. He doesn’t know that I am crying because, tomorrow, the lunch lady will help him put his straw in his juice box instead of me. Or, even worse, she’ll make him do it himself! And he’ll be able to because he’s a big kid!!! Wahhhhhh! IT ISN’T FAIR!!!
(Pause while I fling myself to the floor, kicking and screaming over this injustice!)
I did all the right things. I listened when people said, “Don’t blink! It goes by so fast!” I DIDN’T BLINK! I haven’t blinked since 1998!!! I did cherish every moment! I did live in the moment with them. I did try to memorize every thing my kids said and did. I did play with them instead of washing dishes or laundry or whatever else I should have done. I did all of those things. And it still didn’t matter. It happened. All four of them are growing up. I feel like it flew by, like I missed something! Every year on their birthday I make them promise, if I let them have just this one more, that they will stop having birthdays. They will stay little, right where they are, and let me love them forever. Every year they break their promise.
Little liars. So rude.
My oldest is going to graduate this June. In fact, her kindergarten teacher is the same one I will leave her baby brother with tomorrow. (I love that, by the way!) It feels like yesterday that I walked her to the same building, to the same teacher, sad that she was growing up, but blissfully unaware of how much it would really hurt when she got to be the age she is now. My eyes are wide open. I’ve done this three other times. I know how fast it will go and how bittersweet the whole parenting thing is. I know that this goes beyond the cuteness of the day. Its the beginning of the end for me.
Tomorrow my baby starts kindergarten. I’m going to walk him to class, grab one last hug and kiss for the day, and wave goodbye with a happy smile for him. Then, I’m going to sit in my car, sobbing my eyeballs out because I simply cannot hold in all of the love I have for him and because I know that it is going to fly by from here on out. One last first day of kindergarten. WAAAAAAHHHHHHH! 🙁