Today is the first day of school for the kids. I'm sitting here alone at my desk with my coffee and a bowl of cereal, with nothing to interrupt me aside from a dog needing let out, for the first time since 2016. The house is eerily quiet. My baby is now in school with her big sister.
My little kindergartner has been scared about starting school since we moved 5 hours away from the school she expected to attend. We've all done our best to alleviate the anxiety with books, personal anecdotes, talking to her about all of the positive things about school, like learning to read and do math (two things she's actually very excited about).
This morning was the most excited she's been since the fear set in. As she went through the morning routine like a pro, she occasionally mentioned her stomach hurting a little bit; a physical sign of her nervousness, no doubt. But she was smiling. She excitedly took her bowl to the sink and brushed her teeth, hardly able to wait to get her LOL Doll backpack on. She was all smiles as I took the traditional back to school pictures and as we walked to the school. Her big sister and I kept her distracted with the things she's looking forward to instead of what she was scared of. She asked if we could drop her off last, so we took my oldest to the cafeteria where she'll wait with her class. As we left, they hugged as my youngest said “I'll miss you!” Then it was her turn. We went into the gym and found where her class will sit every morning. She was all smiles as I took some pictures before turning her peace sign hands into two thumbs down. She was scared again.
I crouched there on the gym floor with her and told her (as well as the seemingly terrified little girl sitting behind her in line) that so many of the kids were scared this morning, because it was new to all of them, but that they would all come together and lift each other up and have a wonderful time. After talking a little bit more, and several hugs and kisses later, I promised her I'd see her this afternoon and left her in the care of her teachers. I caught a glimpse through the crowd before I walked out of the gym and saw she still wasn't crying. A good sign.
I know she's going to thrive in school. As sassy as she can be, she's strong, smart, sweet, and friendly. I have no doubt that the only thing that will get her over her fear is to go through it and realize it's not all that bad. She will adjust and adapt.
And then there's me. Sitting here alone. For the first time since my oldest started kindergarten.
When the youngest child is off to school for the first time, the stay at home mom is often asked, "what are you going to do now?" Will we get a job? Will our homes finally be show-room-ready clean? Will we frolic through the grocery store (or any store, the possibilities are endless) in the low crowds of a weekday morning without at least one kid in tow? Maybe. Who knows?
For the longest time I've simply responded to this question with, "enjoy it." A lot of my stay at home mom life has consisted of me being the only parent home for sometimes weeks on end as my husband worked his tail off supporting us 5 hours away (not the case now that we've moved, thankfully). So, if you ask me, I've definitely earned being able to enjoy some solitude. Once that gets old, though? I have absolutely no idea.
But regardless of what we moms entering this new season literally do with our time, I know one thing we'll do for certain --something that all moms have always done and will continue to do in this ever-changing world of parenting: adjust and adapt.
Hello! I'm Lindsey. I'm a writer with a ton of random thoughts bouncing around in my head. So I share them here in hopes that they reach others with these thoughts.