Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Change of Heart

Despite all of my cheerfulness and bravado about the new chapter of my life, I woke up this morning with little kid lying beside me, all snuggled up asleep in our bed where he does not belong, looking way too small for school

I moved my face close to his and listened to his peaceful breathing and the little sucking sounds he makes in his sleep (picture Maggie Simpson without the pacifier). I noticed the teensy tiny bit of chub left over from his preschool years, remembering how fat his cheeks used to be and realizing again that our baby years are over.

I thought briefly of homeschooling or at least insisting on one more year at home with me before kindergarten, and then he woke up excited to go and my crazy plans were foiled.

As they ate breakfast, Big Kid said, "So you guys are going to walk him to his class and I'll go to my class?"

"No, I want you to walk with us to drop him off so you can walk him there in the mornings. Then we'll walk with you to your class to say goodbye!" I answered.

"Oh, it's okay, I'll walk there with you guys and then walk ahead to my own class. I know where it is."

And it was then that I realized he didn't want us to walk him to his classroom on the first day of school.

"Big Kid, please!" I said desperately. "I won't try to kiss you." He stared at me quietly. "Or hug you! Or anything," I promised sadly.

"Alright, mom," he said in a hesitant voice, clearly pitying me.

We dropped little kid off and he was fine. He threw a bewildered look at the bawling kid in the corner, squeezed my hand a little tighter and walked me over to his desk where he dropped my hand, raised his cheek for a kiss and turned to start his day. I got to the door and had a mild moment of panic, turning back, certain that he was watching me or was upset...but he was already distracted. "LITTLE KID" I hissed, not ready to go. He looked up, I blew him a kiss and he waved as I stepped out of the room and tried not to cry on my way to Big Kid's class.

I noticed that Big Kid began walking quickly as we approached his room. "Big Kid...can I at least get handshake?" I said, voice wavering and cracking, heart pounding. He paused, taking a furtive look around the busy halls.

"Dude, your mom is about to cry. Just hug her," Mr. Ashley insisted.

Big Kid obligingly gave me a half squeeze around the waist before darting into his room, clearly not wanting me to cross the threshold. Probably a good choice.

And I came home to my empty house and I was sad. Sad that they don't need me and that babyhood is over (even though them needing me often drives me nuts and I'm not a huge fan of babyhood.) I felt as if I was laid off of my job-- maybe on my 2 weeks notice; tolerated but not needed. Phased out.

Then I went to the gym, enjoyed complete silence for hours, and didn't watch one minute of any kind of survival show, and life was a lot better again. Like, a lot a lot. The day went quickly.

When I picked them up, little kid said "I like-ed it but I miss-ed you. I really miss-ed you a lot but I had fun," which was the perfect answer.

Big Kid said, "My day was really long. I wanted to come home so bad at one o'clock. I just couldn't stop thinking about coming home, you know why?"

Dreading the inevitable answer about school being boring, I asked why and he replied, "Because I really love you. That's what I was thinking about, how I love my house and my mom," which was also the perfect answer.

And all was right with the world again. 

(And I'm back to really liking the idea of being home alone so often!)


Valerie said...

Well, I'm crying in my cubicle. This was so sweet and made me really hope when I finally have babies, I get to have a little boy. The mother-daughter bond is no doubt special, but there is something really special about that mother-son relationship. I hope to be half as good of a mom as you are some day 

Also, I cannot believe how big little kid looks in this picture! They both look so handsome.

Joy said...

are you trying to make me cry on purpose?! glad they had a good first day of school but realized they still missed their momma. I am pretty sure my BK could care less about me it's just the Play station and computer he misses while he is at school!

Vee said...

Wow. I cried about your kids going to school, but not my own. What's wrong with this picture?

Jennifer said...

Sweet, sweet boys. They know just how to make their momma feel better.

Anonymous said...

What a great story! And I love the photo - but they both look like they have grown up so much over the summer! I have never had kids of my own, but I do love reading of your adventures with your kids. Thanks for sharing.

Julie H said...

So sweet! It's sad that they grow up, but then it's good. Totally know what you are feeling :) My oldest is a senior and ugh. She'll be gone before I know it but than sometimes I'd really like her to move on ;)

Anonymous said...

Aww, I love that story. I have a four year old son...and yeah, boys are the best!!

JulieStyles said...

Alright, you got me. Mine are in Middle School, and I miss them during the day - sometimes. The best time of day is 3:15, when we're all home, having snacks and they're telling me about their days and starting homework. The older one now even asks me about MY day. Of course, neither will be seen with me on campus, where I have a lot of PTA stuff do to, but that's ok. I would not have been seen at Middle School with my mom either. Growing pains....they do get easier.

Erin said...

I always read your blog and think you are hilarious. Today, though, bawling my eyes out at work. Had to lie and say I stuck a fork in my eye so I didn't look too much like an idiot :) My son is 2.5 and I am not allowing him to go to school after my crying over reading about your sons going to school :) Excellent blog!

Cindy said...

Oh wow. This describes it all so perfectly. My boys are 23 (23!) and 10. My sister's version of Big Kid is starting Kindergarten today in a brand new state where they just moved to *last week*!

Enjoy. xo

Megan said...

I can't even believe how old little kid looks. I've been around since the BBC days when he was an itty bitty and I still picture him that way.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so don't do what I did. I sent the twins to kindergarten, went home and told my husband I was all by myself and so very sad. Nine months later, Ms. Gi was born. No joke. I waddled around the kindergarten zoo trip 9 months pregnant. She was born 2 days after they got out of school for summer. Kerry

JT said...

Bittersweet but lovely. Right now this seems like forever away for me, but I know it's just around the corner.

Renee said...

Oh lordy, this makes my heart pound. My guys start a week from Tuesday. After 5 years home with them full-time, and 4 years homeschooling.....What am I going to do with myself?!? (Okay, here's what I'm actually going to do - gym, lunch with friends, lunch with Tony, read, clean sweep my house, work on projects I've been delaying for 5 years like baby books and photo albums.....big plans!) :) Maybe we can find some time to chat like old times too.

-The Renee