Across most of Canada, today marks the first day of this new 2015-2016 school year. Even if you don’t have kids heading to school, one quick scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and you will soon be alerted that it is in fact back to school today. With almost every parent posting the classic “stand in front of the house door with your backpack on while holding a sign to indicate what grade you are in” picture, along with some kind of reflection of just how fast the kids are growing up or a hashtag that reads something like #wherehastimegone.
I admit it…I am one of those parents too. While I didn’t have time to make a cute sign for my two to hold this year, they did (reluctantly) pose for a picture before we all headed to school.
This year, we are sending TWO of our three children to school, full time. Our oldest is heading into Senior Kindergarten (SK) and our middle is starting his school journey in Junior Kindergarten (JK). And quite honestly, this momma is so excited!
Don’t get me wrong, I have some anxiety, fears and a touch of sadness that they are gone, but truthfully, I am just really excited for THEM. Last year, my sentiments were not quite the same. I was deep in my struggle with postpartum depression, which I didn’t know about at the time, and I was an absolute basket case, sending my first born into the big, dark, scary world of JK. I cried and cried and then I cried some more. My husband, lovingly told me that he thought I had a problem because as much as parents struggle with sending their kids to school, my struggle was on a whole other level.
A few weeks in, things settled down, I finally had a proper diagnosis and then we all adjusted to our new normal. It probably helped that my daughter absolutely LOVED school. I offered to let her stay home whenever she wanted (here in Ontario our kids go to school full-time in JK…which has been debated by many parents as being a little too much for 3-4 year olds), but she insisted that she didn’t miss one day! She loved her teacher and all her friends and clearly, her new found freedom from home.
We also sent our middle son to a preschool, twice a week, last year, to prepare him for his transition to JK this year. He is very much a home body and would love to be by my side all day long, if I let him. While he loves adventure, he also loves familiarity and is most at ease in his natural habitat, a.k.a home. We’ve prepped him as best as we could for the start to this year and with much excitement and a little bit of nerves, he transitioned from a preschooler to a kindergartener today with great ease.
As I read through many of my friends posts and even saw some moms and dads at the school crying, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I’m not overcome with sad emotions about my two going to school. I said to my hubby, as we were leaving the school, “Is it bad that I’m kind of excited about this?” And his quick response was, “Nope! Let’s go for breakfast!” Clearly, he was ok with it too.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]I’ve taught them just about everything they know and now I sit here and I’m excited for them to get out into the world and start putting into practice what they’ve learnt…I’m excited for the new friends, the new experiences and the new memories they will make.[/pullquote]
You see, here’s the thing. For four and five years now, I’ve invested so much of my time into my two oldest children. Every waking minute…it’s been me (and hubby, when he’s home), taking care of them, teaching them, feeding them, nurturing them, etc. I’ve taught them how to be kind and respectful and caring and polite. I’ve taught them how to make friends and help others feel included. I’ve taught them all about Jesus and how much He loves them. I’ve taught them about how they need to take care of their bodies by eating well and cleaning themselves daily. I’ve taught them just about everything they know and now I sit here and I’m excited for them to get out into the world and start putting into practice what they’ve learnt. I’m excited for them to make their momma proud. I’m excited for all the new adventures that lie ahead. I’m excited for the new friends, the new experiences and the new memories they will make.
I’m not sad that I won’t be there with them…because I’ve been there all along. And truthfully, I am still here, picking them up from school, feeding them, teaching them, bathing them, reading them their bedtime story. I’m still here to nurture and guide and love. But I’m not sad that they are growing up, rather, I’m excited to see the beautiful children they are becoming. To learn more and more about their personalities and the gifts and dreams God has placed on their lives. I’m excited to see them flourish, as they grow into the man and woman God has created them to be.
So today, I’m not sad. Although it marks a new chapter in our family’s lives with two kids going to school, I’m ready to embrace this new season with open arms and grow alongside my kids. Perhaps a little bit more distanced than we’ve been over the last number of years, but still side-by-side, cheering them on as they set out into this big world!
Love & Blessings,