Today was the last day my son would attend his pre-school and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel when I dropped him off. This is the school all three of my kids went to so there is a lot of history. It has been eight years that I have been buzzed in, walked the hallways, said good morning to the teachers and seen my kids grow and mature. There are a lot of memories in this building for our family.
Would I cry at drop off? Would I not even think about it? My four year old has pretty much cried every morning at drop off over the past school year. His daily tears and words of, “Mommy, don’t leave me”, or “One more hug and kiss”, and “I want to stay with you” never got easier….ever. I lingered too long, couldn’t bear to see his sad face and wanted to hold on as long and as much as he did.
I told him that today was his last day and instead of crying, he should be excited for the fun he would have and to enjoy himself. Little did I know, the tables would be turned this morning. As I pulled into the parking lot, I could feel a wave of emotion come over me. As I looked at the playground, I could so clearly remember my now nine year old running around chasing his friends and waving to me. I felt like I was in a movie or something and eight years of attending our pre-school flashed in front of my eyes.
My son grabbed my hand and I grabbed his even harder as we walked into his school together one last time. I lingered again, giving in to his extra needed hugs as I inhaled his scent and my eyes swelled with tears. I told him that Mommy was the one who would be crying today. He hugged me harder than he ever has and started patting my back.
Who knew that he would be the one comforting me as every day before today, I was the one who was offering him a shoulder to cry on. After a little wave goodbye and a sad, yet happy face from my little guy, I turned around and quickly walked out. My teary eyes were hiding under my sunglasses and I couldn’t get to my car fast enough. To torture myself further, I purposely looked for sad music to match my emotional state as I pulled away from the school.
I knew this day would come and now it is here. My little baby is finished with his pre-school. Wow, I simply cannot believe it. My seven year old, who also cried every day at pre-school and begged me not to leave him, will soon be in 2nd grade. My oldest, who will be going into 4th grade never shed a tear on his first day of pre-school or any other day. I can still see him walking into his classroom, waving goodbye and never looking back.
I heard when you have kids, time goes by so quickly but boy, they weren’t kidding. It’s quick, scary quick. Make no mistake, I am excited about what the future holds for my kids and am in no way trying to stop time. Perhaps just slow is down a bit. I always think about a certain high school class that was 45 minutes long and I remember staring at the clock thinking it would never ever end. Forty five minutes seemed like such a long time span back then but now, 45 minutes may as well as be a second. It’s always summer, the first day of school, the last day of school, the holidays, New Year’s, etc. I literally have no sense of time at all anymore. So strange how that works.
Off I go to pick up my little man. This is it. This is a really big moment. I will walk into his school, smell the familiar smells and listen to the silence of the after-care students napping one more time. I will walk out thinking about the new adventures that lie ahead for us all in the upcoming school year. As the door closes behind us, with one hand holding my son’s big backpack and the other, my son’s little hand, I will remember to live in the moment because these days, the moments become memories way too fast.
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD™…and our kids growing up.