Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Been a Long Day.

It's been a long day. And it's only 9 am.

Today was Abby's second day of Kindergarten, but somehow it hit me much harder than her first day. Yesterday was easy. We were rushed beyond belief trying to get Abby to school, find someone to watch the boys, and get myself to school all at the same time. Abby was sort of late for school, so we walked her to the classroom door, said bye to her, and left. Then I had school, picked her up and that was that. I didn't really have any feelings at all yesterday, except maybe stress.

Today I had time to think about it, I guess. I started by waking Abby up, something I've never, ever done. I've always just let the kids wake on their own. In fact, if one of the kids is napping when we need to go somewhere, I'll either be late waiting for the kids to wake up, or have a sitter come over and watch the sleeping kid.

Well, anyway, I woke Abby up, and I decided to dress her. Daniel is all for independence, and he's been encouraging Abby to dress herself in the morning and at bed for years. She can do it by herself, but today I felt that I needed to do it. So I pretended she was a little baby again for 2 minutes, while I held her and dressed her in a school uniform.

She sat down and wanted to watch TV like she does every morning while she eats, but we were so rushed that she couldn't even watch one full show. We headed out the door before she finished her breakfast, and I drove her to school.

When I got back home with the boys, it hit me. My baby is in school. Every week day (minus summers and holidays), for the next 13-17 years. She has a life outside of our home and family, and I have to go about my morning without her.

I kept thinking about her as a baby, and as a toddler, and as a preschooler. Every time I change Ethan I think of a 19 month old Abby, and I cry. Every time I ask Avery to clean up his messes, I think of a 3 year old Abby, and I cry. She was just a newborn baby a few years ago. She wasn't even alive just 5 years ago, but now she's expected to get a long for 3 hours without her mommy. And her mommy is expected to get along for 3 hours without Abby.

I know this is just mommyhood. I raise them, teach them, love them, play the center of their world - and then they grow and leave me. When Abby is here, she might upset me or annoy me, but when she's gone, I can't remember those times. This is how motherhood works. But I also know this is just love in general. When I fell in love with Daniel, it made me sick to have to leave him when I had to go home, or he had to go home. When we weren't together, we wanted so badly to be together. Now I don't remember the times that Daniel has made me mad over the years, I only think about how great he is when he's at work. I don't remember the hard parts of getting married, becoming an adult, and I also don't remember (completely) how hard it is to give birth to a baby.

So I start to think about how easy it would be to homeschool Abby. How she would still be here every day, and I would know every part of her day. But I realize that homeschooling is not the solution. There are other ways she will leave me. Homeschooling her would only put off the inevitable. Kids grow and leave their parents.

I almost have this jealousy for parents who homeschool. They don't have to take their kids to a school, leave them there with strangers, wonder what they're hearing from other kids, wonder if they're eating. And this is probably because everyone (with the exception of 1 or 2 families) I know homeschools. I have absolutely no one to talk to about sending my baby off to school. No one who can sympathize with me. So that's where this blog comes in. I talk about it, maybe someone will read it and understand, offer me some encouragement.

So, now that I've felt sorry for myself for the past 2 hours, I'm starting to feel better. I think, "three hours is not that long." I realize that if Abby weren't at school, she wouldn't seem nearly as sweet. She would be making messes like Avery is, upsetting me instead of making me miss her immensely. And really, it won't hurt her one bit to miss the Backyardigans.


Anonymous said...

sorry that it's so hard on you, Sara. i think, knowing that they have lots of fun there helps. Alanna is at the daycare for 5 hours every morning, and she is not even 2. honestly, it's not hard at all -- i know that she loves it, i know that she has lots and lots of fun, i know that she is learning a lot... and i have time for my grown-up stuff... i hope and pray it gets better for you. the picture of Abby's first day of school is precious. Anya

Anonymous said...

Sara, I'm right there with you! I sent my son off a couple weeks ago to kindergarten, too -- and it's full-day! I was so worried about him: he was still taking about a 1-hr nap after lunch, he's a picky eater, etc. And yes, after we put him on the bus, I cried and cried. Thankfully, my husband had arranged to go in late to work, so he was here to support me. And our 1 1/2-y-o had no idea why Mommy was so teary all day.

But it gets better. I have a GREAT Kodak-moment shot of him leaping off the school bus (literally) with a huge grin on his face.

After 3 weeks, do I still miss him during the day? Yep. But I'm learning to enjoy the mommy time with my youngest, and finding "me" again, too. Growing up always hurts, I think. That's why God made love.

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