Tomorrow is back to school. For the past two weeks I have been wandering around singing with a huge grin. The Staples ad with the dad and the song, "it's the most wonderful time of the year" ? That's me.
Son One goes into grade three (dreading the EQAOs), Son One attends full day grade one, first time eating lunch at school, and Daughter starts JK.
Daughter, being the third born and a January birth date, has been ready for JK for the past year. In fact, last fall she was hangin' on the playground with last year's JKs lamenting, "yeah, my mom hasn't signed me up for school yet." The day after her fourth birthday she grabbed her knapsack and stood in the school yard hoping that they would take her.
She has been counting down the days, shopping for supplies, memorizing her teacher's name and generally very excited for school to start.
Complete melt-down at dinner when Husband asked me to make sure to take the camera (he cannot make it, and this is the first time he has missed one of the kids first days of school) and I mentioned that we would be walking, not driving, tomorrow morning (we live 1.8 km from school, so not a close walk, but parking is always awful on the first day.)
Crying, tears, wails, "I don't want to go to school!" Even her brothers, who have done nothing but complain about going back to school at every opportunity all summer, stepped in to talk her down and try to convince her that is was fun, both boys agreeing that the first and last days of the year were the best!
I had been so excited about school. Both because finally I would have all of them in school, and because I have always loved anything "new."
Until Daughter started melting down, I hadn't really thought of the fact that my baby, the last of my bunch, was starting school. She waits on the precipice. All of her innocent days of lolly-gagging and lazing about soon to be replaced by school. That's it. The game changes. Daughter will go tomorrow and become a child who attends school. No longer will she be this baby who I carry around, dote on and indulge. She will be an independent little school girl, making her own friends, having adventures and experiencing new things every day without me.
At the dinner table she climbed into my lap. Crying real tears that dripped onto my shirt. Her nose running right down her lip and into her mouth. Her lips, pouted in the perfect bow that is so unique to her where they meet in the middle without touching on the sides. She doesn't want to go to school tomorrow. She really, really doesn't. She couldn't be more sure that she definitely did not want to go to school or learn to read EVER!
I picked her up and carried her into the living room and a more comfortable chair. As daughter snuggled up, crying into the crook of my shoulder a neck, I actually started question whether or not I really needed to send her to school. What would the harm be of staying home with me for one more year? She and I are so close, she is so connected to me. I love the weight of her in my arms, the softness of her cheek and hair when we cuddle, and the way she looks me straight in the eyes about a hundred times a day to tell me that she loves me.
Wait. I need to snap out of it. She needs to go to school. And after 8 1/2 years of committing myself daily to my children, I need the break.
She fell asleep in my arms and I lay her down in her bed.
Now I am back in the kitchen humming, "the most wonderful time of the year" to myself as I pack snacks and lunches. Good luck tomorrow, fellow Mommies!