When I originally started this blog nearly 5 years ago, I called it “This Next Step”. I was a mom to almost-3 month old twins, and MagzD really hadn’t been born yet. I was taking the next steps in adulthood and needed somewhere to record the milestones.
Tomorrow, I am registering those almost-3 month old babies for kindergarten. They are in seventh heaven after driving past their school for 3.5 years. They are so excited that I could barely convince them to go to bed. I have a feeling they may be very disappointed when they realize that they won’t actually be going to school until September…!
I, on the other hand, am a wreck. I’m nearly 32 years old, and all I want to do is ask my mom to come with me.
I’ve been dreaming about kindergarten for years: sipping coffee in the quiet 8am dawn light, strolling peacefully through my clean house, running errands without 5-point harness clips in every parking lot for TWO WHOLE DAYS EVERY WEEK (and every other Friday!!!!). I won’t lie: at times, I’ve been downright giddy about it.
Yet now, I’m laying in bed wondering how this all came to be. I’m blogging on a practically defunct blog to a nearly nonexistent audience because I am so overwhelmed by the process of pushing my babies out into the world.
Onto school buses with other kids.
Into classrooms run by other adults.
Onto playgrounds with other family values and structures and ideas of right and wrong.
I am so scared.
Of course I know they’ll be fine. I’m the mom who sits idly while her kids explore the playground, instead of hovering over them. I let them eat dirt and play by themselves for hours unsupervised.
But I’m also the mom who silently worries when they aren’t getting their back floats in swimming lessons, and cringes when I see them struggle. I leave them to their own devices, but it’s hard. And now, I won’t be able to see if they’re struggling. I may never even know. I won’t see who hurts them or who helps them. I won’t watch them master skills, and I won’t be there to celebrate.
And my house will be so empty. Like an only child going off to school, but twice as quite. No more giggles and stories and glitter and crayons and princess shoes. On those days, my house will be so empty. I see myself sitting at the front window, waiting, watching for that school bus all the long day through.
And when they get off the bus each afternoon this fall, I won’t be there. I’ll be at work, and all of their bubbling excitement and news will fall on someone else’s ears. I will only get to kiss their foreheads while they sleep.
But I will put on a smile tomorrow morning, and I will pretend that walking through the doors of that school is the most exciting thing the three of us have ever done together. We will make cookies in the afternoon to celebrate and I will listen to the two of them chatter excitedly about being big kids.
In my heart, I will cry.