bittersweet blessings ~ 8/28/2010

My family is treading precariously on a deadline of sorts. You see, our only child begins Kindergarten this coming Wednesday. That means, effectively, life as we know it will change. Schedules will be stricter, time will be fleeting, and our son will make the official transition into real academia.

The sweet…
My husband and I are more than proud to watch him blossom into a fun-loving, intelligent kid, and we’re excited to witness his continuing growth in the school environment. Once kids ourselves, we know what to expect. There are assignments to complete, friends to make, boundaries to push, and rules to follow. But even better, there are sports to play, sleepovers to enjoy, birthday parties to attend, and unimaginable adventures to be had. He has so much to look forward to and not an inkling any of it exists. And so, we must be thrilled for him and prepare for the wonderment that will surely grace his perfect features every day he comes back to us.

And the bitter…
As a stay-at-home mother, the past 6+ years have either been spent nurturing this little man in my womb or having him by my side. And though he’s been in preschool and 4k classes, he’s really only ever been gone from me for half days or the few times we’ve taken trips without him. Now he’ll be away – 8:15am-4pm – Monday through Friday. I – like so many other parents – do the secret happy dance at the prospect of school resuming. Summers are awesome but tiring when you have kids. And the return to school brings a renewed opportunity for much needed “alone” time, peace, and freedoms to complete projects or errands without a child in tow. But for me, it also means I’ll get to write – I mean, actually WRITE – in absolute solitude and quiet. Giddy at the prospect of structured time to create, edit, publish, and market, I’m also melancholy to know there will be no interruptions for snacks, playing, questions, hugs, and giggles. The house will be empty without his feet running up and down the stairs. The house will be clean without his toys and games scattered amongst every room. And the house will be mine and mine alone. I will be alone…

But, instead of wallow in misery, I intend to bask in the possibilities. After all this time, I can fully focus on myself without guilt, which means not only time for work, but the chance to play. I can do morning coffee with my mom pals when I need to vent or laugh or connect. I can take longer walks in the neighborhood when I need to recharge and energize. I can indulge in the reading I’ve put off in favor of writing. I can meet my husband for a kid-free lunch and have long overdue in-depth discussions. I can complete errands and appointments with ease and efficiency. I can do it…

There are always blessings if we look for them. And in these final few days before my son begins his school career, I intend to enjoy the ones in front of me with everything I’ve got. For me, there will be no regrets, no coulda-woulda-shouldas, and no turning back.

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