Monday, September 03, 2012

Broken Heart, No Regrets

This photo is from last year. Saying goodbye on the last day of the pool.

I was going to avoid writing here until after tomorrow (the first day of school), because I just didn't want to face or talk about the first day of school on this last, holiday summer weekend...but it turns out I'm too heartbroken to stay away. I'm hoping someone will comment here and make it all better. You know, like, magically turn the clock back to June 1st for me or something.

Yes, it's the end of summer. For REAL this time. Last night we had our last "Sunday Picnic Dinner at the Pool" with the families with whom we've enjoyed this ritual for two summers now. The sun was noticeably low when the pool closed at six. It looked so different from how it looked in June (when, by the way, we could stay much later than six, because the pool was open till eight back then).

I thought I was tired, ready for the break from constant kid-interaction that comes with back-to-school. And, truly, I'm sure somewhere deep inside I am. But today it feels like June 1st was YESTERDAY. Those early days at the pool? They seem like minutes ago. Genevieve's kindergarten graduation? Seems like it JUST. HAPPENED.

Tomorrow I will send them off--both of them, for the first time ever--up the bus steps at 8:05 a.m. Summer is over, and so is an entire period of my life as a stay-at-home mom. No little hand will rest in mine on the walk back to the house. No one will accompany me on my errands. There are no more weekday-morning mama-daughter coffee dates. That part of my life is done.

It's crazy, really. I'm so thankful that my friend Tricia is hosting a morning coffee at her house later this week, for my circle of best local friends--we at-home moms whose daughters have all been together since before preschool--since baby-toddler classes, even!--and who are starting first grade this week. She said she'll be too upset to do this right away tomorrow morning, but she needs friends to come cry with her by Thursday. It's going to be a tough week for most of us, and that's when you really need your tribe.

It's been a GREAT summer. I have no complaints. My girls and I spent every minute of every day together, and with the help of two of my mom-friends, I packed each week with ABC Summer activities that were both fun and educational. With these and other friends, we played and swam and picnicked like crazy. We soaked up so much sun; we lived each day to the fullest--I really believe that. And it's a blessing to end a summer with zero regrets.

Good luck tomorrow, mamas--those of you who send your babes to school in the morning. (Many of you have already done this, and I've cherished reading your posts about it!) Check back here for a photo or two of my big kiddos, and to hear how it all went down--for them and for me.*

*[Edited to add:
I just had to come back on here and mention--lest some of you think I am a crazy mama for being so sad and freaked-out about my youngest child starting all-day school--that I am not the only one (so I can't be all that crazy). A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless for all sorts of obvious reasons, least of all that who knows what her husband might think of such a revelation) told me the other day that she'd been so upset about her "baby" going off to school that, in a fit of middle-of-the-night-insomnia-induced hysteria, had actually decided the solution was to have another baby. She even picked out baby names. This from a woman who has never, EVER wavered in her decision to be done having children. She admitted, however, that eventually she realized that any new baby would one day get big and go off to school, and then she'd have to have ANOTHER baby. Argh! Dammit. This would not work after all!]


Mnmom said...

I had the same feelings every Fall. We SAHM's would also get together and commiserate or celebrate - whatever your particular mood is.

Our children just seem to grow up in a nanosecond. You give birth and POOF! they are off to college.

What brings me comfort is knowing that generations of mothers have been doing this since our ancestors dragged their knuckles in the sand.

I'm standing on the strong shoulders of women who have been through it all. And I thank my very lucky stars that I'm not sending them off to the coal mines or war.

I thank Minnesota and it's generous taxpayers for the safe school and public education, because if I had to teach them myself, well, let's just not go there.

I thank my husband for taking on all the breadwinning for several years so I can be there every single second until youngest was in 3rd grade.

Sorry for the long post.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Hi Shannon - I just linked over from another BlogHer site and was very glad to have the chance to read your post.

My kids are still in preschool, but I'm already heartsick about the idea of my oldest starting school full-time next year. I know I'll enjoy having some more time to myself, but something feels so heavy about that moment of transition. Glad to know that I'm not alone.

Hope this first week of school has gone well for all of you!