Monday, September 3, 2012

‘Twas the Day Before Preschool

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My baby starts school tomorrow.  The real deal.  Five days a week.  Bus drop off.  Lunches.  It’s just preschool, pre-Kindergarten to be exact, but it feels much bigger to me.  It is his first formalized education.  He’s only been schooled by me and my friends in a mom swap preschool group one to two days a week.  Now he’s going to a real, licensed teacher.  Every day.  Zero to sixty. 

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Practicing his letters.

It’s not my first choice preschool.  I wish it weren’t so many days and so formal and so big.  But it’s by far the best choice for our family and current life situation.  Anderson will be great.  So great!  I will be fine.  Pretty much fine. 

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I’ve been a lame postpartum mom for two months.  I feel guilty we didn’t celebrate summer 2012 and his last two months of freedom with more fun and hoopla. August was tough, especially for Anderson and me. I had moments when I adore him so much it hurts. I had other moments when he’s driving me so crazy I can’t wait to kick him out the door.  Baby number three slowed us down, and Anderson suffered the most. I’m grateful he doesn’t yet know the word “bored” because I’m sure I would have heard it every day. I finally made it to the pool on Saturday.  My second time all summer. Sorry Bug.  They can’t all be Summer of George.

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We may not have lived it up four-year-old style this summer, but I gave him a brother.  That counts for something right?

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I’m feeling sad and sentimental that the last four and half years flew by way too fast. I worry I didn’t appreciate him and motherhood as much as I should have. Did we suck the marrow out of life every day? Did we have enough adventures? Did I snap and shoo him away too much? Does he know just how much I love him? Does he understand I can’t imagine my life without him?  He’ll have 15 hours a week in this whole other world apart and away from me. He’s so ready for it. I am not.

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He took his first shower (with some help) Saturday like it was no big thing.

It doesn’t help my tender heart and unstable hormones that Bennett looks so much like newborn Anderson. I hold Bennett and swear I was cradling my Bug just four days ago, not four years ago.

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It hit me the other day the reason moms cry on the first day of school. I always assumed it was because these moms were going to miss their babies so much they were overcome with emotion. If only it was that simple. For me, it’s a complicated cocktail of emotions that make my heart burst: guilt, pride, love, fear, excitement, protectiveness, worry, adoration. It’s a symbolic milestone that I can’t pass without tearful reflection and mixed feelings.  I think about how we’ve loved and played and struggled and laughed and snuggled and cried and grown in our quick four and half years at home together.  Sure, I’m going to miss him.  But that’s only part of it.  And, by the way, I’m not the only one who will miss him.

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Good thing these two have each other.

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We were supposed to spend the holiday at Greenbrier Lake with friends but remnants of Hurricane Isaac had other plans for us.  It’s for the best.  Harley’s working, and we’re spending the day inside.  Everybody slept in, then one by one joined me in bed for one last lazy morning chill fest.  I’m going to miss this.  7:30AM is going to come really early tomorrow.

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On this, the eve of Pre-K, we’re paying homage to where they will go to college. I said, “say BYU!” and Anderson yelled, “Pre-K!” No sweat, Mama. He’s got this. And so our formalized education journey begins.

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Please, let that journey end here.

Today will melt away with coloring, fort building and polishing off the last of the otter pops. I’ve got laundry to do, in-laws to prepare for, and a 37-item To Do list (no, I will not do it all)  to tackle.  Somewhere in between I’m committed to make time for quality one-on-one with Anderson.  I hope he always feels I made time for him.

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Tonight we’ll have a special dinner, father’s blessings, baths and an early bedtime.  We’ll lay out clothes, read this book and tuck him in.  Then I will curl up with this, to watch this and cry.  It will be a good mix of happy and sad tears, as I prepare to kiss this face goodbye come morning.

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15 comments:

Lauren F. said...

My heart is bursting for you. I am already dreading that day I have to send Ryan off into the world. So exciting and yet so sad. I think it is the loss of innocence and naivete that kills me. Now they will learn things from other people -- both good and bad. Good luck Anderson and good luck Wendy! He'll do great!

Crystal said...

We have Kindergaten starting tomorrow. I have the exact same feelings. Especially guilt for a lame un fun with more movies than reading year. So I like your point. At least I gave my girl a sister this year and that counts for something. :)

Lisa LaBanc said...

Ahhhh that is so emotional!! I never understood why moms cried on the first days of school too, but I see what you are saying. I feel like I want to cry too.

Logical Libby said...

My baby starts school tomorrow too. I feel your pain -- all of it. I just hope I have given her a good enough foundation to face the world

Harley King said...

Tomorrow both Anderson and dada go to school. Hooray!

Mom said...

I know I am an odd duck but I never had any of these emotions my kids starting school. I was just excited for them because I knew it was time for both of us. You expressed yourself very well.

Ali Snow said...

What a sweet post. I echo Lisa. You expressed yourself so well. I cried at this post. He's such a big boy.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

Crying again... Oh Anders....Oh Anders...so much ahead of you. I love you beyond the moon.

Mike said...

Knock em dead Anders.

Love Grandpa

Jill said...

I'm jealous that your preschool has a bus drop off. I hope everything went well today!

Ming said...

I should've waited to read this tomorrow after Jack has his first day. Now I'm feeling like I should be doing more. ;) Watching the life movie, reading special books, special dinners, father's blessings. Ahhhh so much to do. Okay I probably just won't do all those things, but I love that you did. So wonderful. I totally validate all of these feelings. I've been giving Jack lots of extra hugs and kisses today.

Codi said...

I cry those tears every year, and lately it has been every morning. I blame the lack of sleep and hormones :)

Jess said...

What a lovely last day. And 5 days all day on the bus is a huge commitment!

And don't worry about being a lame mom. Three kids is exponentially worse than 2. It took me a good 3-4 months to feel normal after Andrew was born.

Tess said...

Excuse me while I go sob! Suck the marrow out of life. I should get that in vinyl.

Kate said...

It's so hard how fast they grow! And everyday school is a lot for your first go! And I'd say that yes, you did a great job of soaking in the first 4 yrs... you've still got a lot of good, fun years ahead. But time sure does fly on the wings of lightening!