I just walked back from school after seeing off my 1st and 3rd graders for their first day. This is the year that just seemed so far off. All my babies are in school. I keep asking myself, and my husband, and my kids, and my mom, and pretty much anyone who cares to listen, how can it be? How is it possible that all my kids are in school this year? Well my youngest doesn’t start kindergarten until Monday, but the other three all started today. And if having all my babies in school isn’t hard enough, my oldest is a senior in high school! Seriously, how can it be?
I remember it so vividly when my oldest started kindergarten. At that time in my life, I thought I would not have any more kids. No man was worthy of me and my baby. So when he started his first day, I was literally a mess. It was the first and last time I would see my child start his first day of school. So I thought. Three kids, 12 years, and a worthy man later, I am about to see my youngest and LAST start kindergarten on Monday. It’s one of those moments in life you just aren’t prepared for. It seemed so far in the distance that I just didn’t spend a lot of energy on preparing for it. I didn’t give it much thought. Until today. Today it hit me. I am old. Well maybe I’m not old, but I feel old. And my kids definitely didn’t stay little babies even after I begged them to. My oldest is a senior in high school and my youngest starts kindergarten. How can it be?
My husband and I would occasionally talk about this day. We would be giddy with excitement talking about the day they would all be in school, no more daycare costs, my husband would have his days off during the week to himself, and we would finally have some “free” time. So here I am sitting on the computer with a pit in my stomach thinking about how much I wasn’t ready for this day. What I want to do is spread all their baby and toddler photos out on the living room floor and go through each one and cry with a box of Kleenex and a blanket around my shoulders and talk about the moment each picture was taken. It would be a sad, emotionally heavy scene out of a really bad Hallmark movie. And I would ask myself (you guessed it), how can it be?
But I won’t. I will instead choose to be as present as possible and just enjoy the time they’re at right now. Because I know this day will soon enough be a day I will look back at and wish that time was here again. There will be a day that my little kindergartner, the little bundle of absolute 5-year old joy, will be off to his first day as a senior in high school. And I will look at the picture of his first day of kindergarten and remember how sad I was that he was starting kindergarten. And when that day comes, that day that seems so far in the distance, I will ask myself, how can it be?