I can’t believe it’s time for another school year already! It’s amazing how quickly time can go by when you have children. Who would have thought that they could keep a person so busy? And once they’re in school, the pace accelerates and becomes more complicated.
My little girl started school this year. She’s the first of my children to do so. I don’t think it would have been so hard had it not been for the fact that she wanted to go. She was not afraid or anxious about school itself.
I’ll never forget dropping her off at her classroom on her first day. She ran off eagerly and sat down at a desk. I placed her backpack on her cubby hook and called her back over to me. "What?" she asked before coming.
I want a hug." She wrapped her arms around me and gave me that hug. Then she happily skipped off back to the seat she had occupied. I walked out of the classroom, tears welling up in my eyes.
I probably could have been able to hold back those tears if it hadn’t been for all the other moms crying as they passed me in the halls. If I had to give a ratio of parents to children in tears on that day, it would have to be 20 percent children and 80 percent parents.
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That experience was awful. It’s not as if we were dropping them off at a train station, never to see them again. It was school. They would be home every afternoon and on weekends. And, after a while, having them home becomes harder then letting them go.
My husband and I buckled our other two children up and headed on our way. I looked in my rearview mirror at them, thinking more down two more to go. Maybe it will be easier with them. At that moment, the only thing I knew was it would be a hard day without her at the house.
Boy, was I wrong. The difference was amazing, but made sense. I had two children before I had three. Things were suddenly like they were before my youngest came along. I had time to keep up with the house. I went from hard-hat zone to peaceful park in one day. The sadness suddenly disappeared as I engulfed myself in cleaning, which is not usually so easy to keep up with when you have three children under age 6.
I found myself thinking of how much fun she was probably having. I wondered why I had been upset when she wasn’t. I couldn’t wait for her to get off the bus that afternoon so I could pelt her with 100 questions about her day.
The day was over before I knew it, and it was time to meet her at the bus stop. I grabbed the kids and headed down to the bottom of the driveway. I waited anxiously as the bus pulled to a stop and she climbed off.
"How was your first bus ride?" I asked. Instantly, she broke in tears. I could hear her little voice through her sobs, telling me that she didn’t like it. She wanted me, and I wasn’t there. She was scared, and I was home cleaning. I knew I could not have done anything, but my heart broke instantly anyway.
I did my best to take her mind off of the bus ride by asking questions about school, which she enjoyed thoroughly. I then explained to her why she shouldn’t be afraid of the bus. Calm, settled and once again secure, she sat down and watched cartoons.
After I finished the talk with her, I reminded myself that I had no control in any of this and that she had to go to school. I explained to myself that I can’t be there all the time and had to accept that fact, no matter how much I resisted it.
Tanya Nave, who lives in Kensington, is a wife, mother and writer. She can be reached at BlessedwHislove@aol.com