The girls have their alarm clocks ready, a gift from Santa. No digitals for my girls! They'll learn how to properly read a clock before relying on lazy glances at numbers that technology provided long ago.
School is back in session on Tuesday, when even The Boy starts settling in to preschool. He'll attend two short sessions next week: one hour on Tuesday and two hours on Thursday, before going all day M/T/Th the following week.
I'm excited, but like all moms watching their babies take a another step toward growing up, a little verklempt! I don't normally speak Yiddish, I'm not Jewish, but thanks to Saturday Night Live it's the best word I can think of to describe how my heart rises into my chest, blocks my throat and forces tears to my eyes.
Yes, I'm thrilled to reclaim time for myself, but I'm going to miss him. He's my baby, my playmate, my lunch date, my cuddle bug. I won't miss the mess-make, tantrum-thrower, food-refuser bits, but I will miss my boy. It's not just the 18 hours a week he won't be in my presence anymore, it's that he's no longer a baby or a toddler. He's taking that thrilling, painful first step away from me toward his independence.
This is our purpose as mothers - to raise our children so that eventually they no longer need us. It stings sometimes, doesn't it? But it's what we're meant to do. And the beauty in it is that our children will always need us. Not to tie their shoes, or cook them dinner or shuttle them here and there, but their hearts will always need us. They'll always and forever, as I do to my mom and dad today, look toward us for guidance, love, approval and the occasional loan! ;)
We are more than parents; we are life-guides, helping our children navigate the maze of life until they are old enough to try to figure it all out themselves. Yes, The Boy is only 3, but he's taking his first solo step. I'm pleased and proud, yet nostalgic.
Can you recall the moment when you knew your child was leaving his babyhood behind him (or her)? Tell me about it...