…who cry when their kid goes off to kindergarten.
But we got Caleb signed up for preschool a few weeks ago, and this morning we visited the school so that he could see it. I have to admit, I’m kind of a mess over the whole thing.
We’re on the threshold of a new season as a family, and it snuck up on me.
Five years sounded like a verifiable eternity when I first stared into his sweet hours-old face. In the scheme of my entire life, I knew 5 years wasn’t really a significant chunk, which is why I was able to wrap my mind around giving up my salary; it was temporary, a sacrifice I wanted to make while my babies were little. But it still sounded like a very long time when I was still lying in the hospital, wondering what being a stay-at-home mom would really entail.
Since that day four years ago, I’ve been around this kid a lot. I started a part-time job at the library about a year and a half ago, which takes me away from him and his brother two mornings a week, but I’m still their primary caregiver, and I still consider being a stay-at-home mom my primary job right now.
I’m surprised at how much I’m not ready for this transition in our family. I’m proud of my big boy, of course, and I’m excited and looking forward to the opportunities his being in school will provide us. I can’t wait to have some quality time with Garrett, to have the chance to run errands with only one kid in tow, and to hopefully begin building some relationships with other families in our community through the friends Caleb makes at school.
That said, once I started thinking about our schedule for the fall, the realization hit me that this baby I gave up my job to stay home with will be in someone else’s care 4 mornings a week (3 at school, one while I’m at work) and all of it sudden it seemed like way too much way too soon.
So now I’m looking at this big boy, this almost-4-year-old, who will soon be taking another big step of independence from his momma and daddy and I wonder to myself how 4 years, 208 weeks, 1460 days with him could have ratcheted up so quickly. I’m trying to slow down a little, to remember that we still have the entire summer ahead of us. I’m spending a little more time listening to his meandering stories, pausing a little longer to hold him before I walk out his room at night, staring a little extra at his face when he’s not looking.
On August 18, when he starts preschool, there’s a good chance I’ll cry. And kindergarten? I’m almost positive there will be tears. Happy tears or sad tears, I’m not quite sure yet. Probably buckets of both.