Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morningABBA
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
It’s the first day of school, and today, both Danni and I will need a moment. We will need to have a moment to sit down and absorb that “well known sadness.” If you have kids, you know it. The mixture of pride, melancholy, and nerves that accompanies the back to school wave from us to them.
Between the two of us, Danni and I have suffered or celebrated 67 back to school days between our five kids since kindergarten – but somehow this one is the hardest yet. Technically, we should be “pros” at this. But isn’t that just the crux of parenthood? Experience doesn’t exactly correlate because these kids don’t stay in a stage long enough for us to really become an expert. Just as we think we got this – they go and move on to a new stage. And once again, here with are in un-chartered waters.
This year Danni will be waving goodbye to her daughter for the “last” time. Senior year, grade twelve, whatever you call it where you live, it is a year of “lasts.” The last first day of school, last Christmas dance, last math exam – you get it. And although there is a great deal of excitement about the upcoming “firsts,” the fact that a huge stage of life for our kids is coming to a close can be somewhat overwhelming.
I think she’s gonna need a moment.
In addition to a bunch of lasts, Danni is also getting in some firsts this year. Her oldest is moving in with buddies, taking on university, and living away from home. Wow. Big year. In one fell swoop the family dynamics change and although we as parents have been planning and dreaming of these successes for our kids since they were born, it can feel like time is slipping through our fingers.
As for me, well – I waffle. Sometimes I feel like the lady in the Ikea commercial. You know the one – where the old lady comes running out of the store screaming “start the car!!” There is just a tiny bit of excitement in knowing the year is starting and that order and schedules will return to our lives. I’m kinda ready to drop them at school and scream out of the parking lot – finally home to a quiet house.
Of course, the other side of me feels a real mixture of emotions. With our baby starting high school, and two now in university, I’m a mature mom 🙂
Slipping through my fingers all the timeABBA
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I think I’m gonna need a moment.
If you are watching your kids hit new milestones in their adolescence you must relate. While you are so excited for them, and know they are ready for this new stage, it is an adjustment for us mommas too! A mixture of pride, worry, fear, and sadness make up just the surface of my emotions.
But most of all, don’t you just find yourself asking… where does the time go? I feel like I took advantage of all of their moments, and soaked in every last experience. Do you still feel that time is slipping through our fingers?
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast tableABBA
Barely awake I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well, some of that we did, but most we didn’t
And why, I just don’t know
I think you’re going to need a moment.
So, for all those momma’s out there facing the “last” first day of school this morning, or a “first” for a new stage of adolescence – know you are part of an army.
We are an army of moms that have been through worries over whether our kids will get their shoes tied at recess but now worry who they will sit with at lunch or how they will survive the stresses of living on their own while handling a university curriculum. The circumstances have changed, but the emotions don’t.
So – when you take your moment today, wherever it might be. Before you head in to your workout, on the train in to work, during a quiet coffee, know that there is an army just like you, experiencing similar emotions on this early September day. And we get it. Through on that old ABBA song (cause you know you want to) and have a good cry.
I’m going to hope for that one last wave, and cherish it for the entire day.
Wishing you an amazing “First Day Back”
Christine and Danni
If you have a young adult venturing to his or her first year of university – read our musing from last year HERE