Monday, March 3, 2014

Preparing to Let the Baby Go

My friend Gwen gave me this sign.  I love it!  I put it by my kitchen sink and think about the blessing of my sweet boys every time I read these words.

The preschool sent an email to the parents.  Due to the high volume of snow days, preschool students could make up those missed school days on non-scheduled preschool days.  That meant my preschooler could bump up his normal three-day school week to a complete (five-day) week.

I greeted the news with mixed-emotions.  Collin is the baby, my last little boy at home.  I've become accustomed to his company on everything from grocery trips to doctor visits.  I imagined existing without my constant companion would feel a bit like a missing appendage with the accompanying phantom pains. 

But, I was also excited about the prospective of having SO much free time.  I envisioned all the productivity and fun that could be crammed into the space of five days.  Perhaps I would finally tackle my "size of a phone book" to-do list.  Maybe I would do something really crazy like organize my spice racks or color-code my sock drawer.  The possibilities seemed endless!

I chatted with other parents about their thoughts on the full-week of preschool.  Many voiced the same sentiments, "It's good practice for the kids.  It's preparing them for next year's jump to full-day, all-week kindergarten."

That made sense to me.

Today I dropped Collin off for his first preschool class of the week.  He skipped into class happily.  I was joyful too as I mentally mapped out how I would spend the next few hours alone.

I was still smiling when I returned home, but then I entered the house.  It was SO quiet.  I missed the sounds of squabbling boys, dribbling balls, and blaring (off-key) musical instruments.  I sat down at the computer and checked emails.  No one interrupted.  No one called my name or begged to get on the computer to do something really important like check the Pokemon website.  I grabbed a snack from the refrigerator.  I selected a singular snack.  Not one single boy emerged and asked for one too. (And so I grabbed a slice of chocolate cake just because I could.)

All the quiet, the peacefulness, the was a bit much for a mother to take after living a decade plus in constant chaos, clamor, and clutter.

Tears welled and my stomach felt like it had just been punched.  I resisted the urge to run down to the preschool and pluck Collin out of his classroom.  The rational side of me knew it was time.  It was time for him to prepare for school and it was time for me to let him.

I realized that this week isn't really about preparing Collin to attend all-day school, it is about preparing me.  The growing pains hurt, but I'm working on moving onward and forward (hopefully without the need to eat more chocolate cake).  

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