Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bittersweet, time marches on, cat's in the cradle and all that

I'm back at work today and I already miss my babies and wish I was with them.  It doesn't matter that the past five weeks have been super hard and full of drama.  I usually want what I don't have.  Or rather, I wanted the entire experience of being home to be better than it was - easier, more full of educational family time and less full of video games and arguments.

My husband is staying with them today because their school doesn't start until tomorrow.  It hasn't helped my frame of mind that he keeps sending me updates via text on how their day is going.  It's still morning and already there has been painting and board games and twister and probably reading and flashcards and novella writing.  Also he's taking them to the pool later.

I told him that they're never going to want me to stay with them ever again because of him.

I think he's doing it on purpose to try to show me up.


Adele starts really real for real preschool tomorrow.  I don't know how it's going to go.  She cried when I went to pick up the paperwork - mostly because she thought I was leaving her there that day.  And then she cried again when we went to open house.  I am not looking forward to dropoff tomorrow.  I am hoping that she will surprise me and be perfectly fine, though I'm not entirely sure that would be better.  On account of my feelings.

She just still seems so young to me, you know?  She still seems like my baby.  And maybe it's my own fault, maybe I've babied her entirely too much over the past few years.  I mean - she still wakes up screaming in the middle of the night as opposed to calmly walking down the stairs to crawl into bed with me if she needs comfort - which to me is much more logical - and less jarring - than the screaming.  But logic and calmness is not one of her strengths when she's upset.

So my baby is going to school where she'll learn all kinds of things and will grow and change and it makes me incredibly sad and glad all at the same time.

Sebastian is starting first grade and I don't hardly believe it.  Kindergarten was in an entirely separate building that only housed city preschool and kindergarten, so he was the oldest kid there.  In his new school he's the youngest.  He will be surrounded by lots of kids who are older than he is and it's scary, you know?  I mean, I know it's not really that big of a deal.  But at the same time it is.  He's one more step removed from me, closer than ever to college and backpacking through Europe.

It's hard to see my kids grow.  I mourn the time when the were tiny, when all they really needed was me, when I knew everything about them.  All of these changes are good, productive, normal things.  But I've never been all that great with change, especially when it comes to my kids.  Each new milestone is filled with a tiny bit of sadness that nothing will ever again be exactly like it was.

I want them to experience life as hard as they can, to be independent and adventurous and wild.  But I also still want them to be my babies, to need me, to want to be with me.

And I think that is what makes motherhood so hard.  Our job is to spend time and effort and love raising our children to leave us.

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