Today marks the first time in almost 8 years that I have not had a child at home with me. I watched my “baby” walk into school this morning, close to her big brother (who, by the way, did not think it was “cool” to have to walk his sister to her Kindergarten classroom).
I just unloaded the dishwasher in record time. I have music on pretty loud; there is no one here to complain about my song selection. I know there are moms reading this that have babies napping, haven’t even gotten a shower yet today, or are thinking being able to unload the dishwasher without hearing “mom, mom, mom” sounds great. I don’t mean to sound unappreciative. Let me just say this is a VERY foreign feeling.
I spent my morning though, and many days leading up to today, wondering what it is about this whole school starting process that causes my heart to move from my chest into my throat. I think it’s the idea of transition. Transition means, movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood (Dictionary.com). I am in the working movement of change. I’m transitioning to the part of motherhood of having preschoolers to having school-aged children. I’m transitioning to the next stage of motherhood. The strange part is that this part arrives the way you rip off a Band-Aid. One day my kids are here…All. Day. Long. The next they are spending the better part of their day at school. It’s sort of a shock.
I don’t deal well with transition—I never have. It’s not so much the change, it’s the process of getting to the change—the transition. It must be the unknown of it all. I spent years with kids at home. Picking up toys and stale Cheerios, folding small clothes, washing sippy cups, etc. defined my days. Now I’m at a new stage in mommyhood. I’m going to volunteer in two classrooms this school year, help with homework, offer advice about friendships, and be there for my kids in more of an emotional role. Things have changed. I may even do something crazy like toss out the sippy cups altogether!
Sydney told John and me that she was a “little bit nervous” about school. I finally admitted to her this morning that I was a little nervous too. She seemed to feel comforted by this. I promised her I would bring Thurman to pick up this afternoon and told her that he and the cat would miss her today. She really liked hearing that.
Friends have told me that this is just the beginning of a new chapter, and I agree with them. I will return to work (when John reads this, you’ll hear his sigh of relief). But, for this day I’m here. I know Sydney is in good hands, her teacher is phenomenal! It’s never easy though to move away from the familiar, especially when it comes in an adorable, almost 5 year-old body.
I may spend more than today trying to find my way through this transition. Today I’m feeling my way through a dark room. My hands are outstretched, fumbling around for recognizable objects. I feel out of sorts, like I’m lost, but I will find my way.
More than lost though, I feel grateful. I feel so grateful that I was able to be home and pick up toys and stale Cheerios. My kids still need me; it’s just in a different capacity. And, no matter what…I’m still me. I’m still at the place that God has called me to be.
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37