My oldest starts kindergarten in just a few weeks. I’ve started thinking things like, “But the time goes so fast!”, “I can’t believe she’s so big!” and “But she was JUST a baby!” It’s a predictable refrain with each milestone we encounter. I think I’m having typical and appropriate feelings about my child starting school. Mostly. You know, except for the palpable sense of dread I have about it all.
My husband and I were married for a while (7 years) before we had our first child. We weren’t completely naïve, in that we knew our lives would change (in part, for the better) and that we’d be giving up the freedom to do just about anything on a moment’s notice. Some of that sweet liberty is coming back, now that my children are 5 and 2 – but I still can’t leave the house without a diaper bag and emergency snacks. We’re fooling ourselves a little because we still try to plan around an afternoon nap.
In a few, short weeks we will be tethered again – to The School Schedule. Bye bye, September beach vacation. Bye bye, off-season rates. So long to the idea of “Well, we’ll just go when everyone else is in school” because she’ll be IN SCHOOL. Evenings will eventually be over-taken with homework and projects and activities. I feel like we’ve successfully climbed a mountain each evening my husband and I get both of our children to bed on time as it is. Add school?
I totally dread it.
At the core of my dread lies the sappy realization that we are moving away from her early childhood. The freedom I felt as a new parent to be a little clueless seems less and less excusable. As we move into the next phase of family life and carpool lines, time is moving faster for me. She’s getting older, moving on and taking us with her. Our family is aging. We’ll most likely feel the responsibility that comes with age before we enjoy the eventual freedom that’ll go with it.
Bye bye time-away-whenever-we-want-it. We’ll see you on the flip side.
My baby is no where near school age but I totally teared up reading this and anticipating the eventual inevitable. Bittersweet and beautifully written!
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