This is a monumental school year for my family – all three of my kids are at the same school – same days, same times, same place. It is truly the end of an era. I have been home with my kids since my oldest daughter – now 8 – was born and have always had someone home with me. Because of their age differences – all less than two years apart – they never overlapped at pre-school. Now that my youngest is in pre-K, he can go to the “girls’ school” – he counted down the years, then months, then days until he could join them.
I did have a quiet cry after I dropped everyone off on the first day. I walked all three kids in, saw them to their lockers, greeted their teachers and said a quick good bye. Today is day two. A friend asked me this morning if I thought my kids would walk in by themselves any day soon (you can escort them in or drop off the kids right in front of the school where someone makes sure they get in the front door) – her daughters insisted she walk them in for the unforeseen future.
My situation is anything but; at breakfast this morning, my four year old son – the “baby” – was begging to be dropped off and have one of his sisters walk him to the classroom. I reminded my oldest that it took ONE YEAR before she could handle walking into school without me. Times have changed.
After school, I used to be greeted with full speed hugs, kids flying into my arms. Now my third grader greets me with a subdued “Hi Mom.” My first grader greets me with “Can I have a playdate?” before I can even get out a “How was your day?” I would like them to be a little more needy, but this march toward independence is a goal in raising children – I wish they weren’t so good at it!
So today I insisted on walking my son into pre-k and let my girls get to their classrooms on their own. Yet I couldn’t resist, after saying good bye to my son, sneaking down to the girls’ rooms and saying hi to the teachers and kissing the girls good bye. My first grader was tolerant – she indulged me. However, my third grader had a look of mortification and could barely look me in the eye. I didn’t care. I am one of those embarrassing mothers – and proud. Isn’t that one of the privileges of being a mother?