I don't know what it is with me, but I have the tendency to do some seriously premature emotional preparation for things. For instance, when Kennedy was about 10 weeks old, we attended a wedding. During the Daddy/Daughter dance at the reception, I bawled my eyes thinking of her upcoming marriage - you know, in 25 years or so. With that one, I could get away with calling it "post-partum", but that excuse isn't going to work for this one.
Over the last several months, as is customary for us and just about every other family on the planet, I have been getting ready for school in the fall. Around about January the questions start. "How has this year been?" "How is everyone doing?" "Is anyone going to need to be homeschooled next year?" "Do we need to make any changes?" And so on. Now that it's May, we pretty much have next year mapped out, and so I am done with the research/planning part and ready to move on to the reality part.
Wait, you say. It isn't even summer. Why are you thinking about the fall?? *sigh* I wish I knew. It's just the way I roll.
Anyway, we were driving to school this morning - me and the 4 older kids - and everyone was rejoicing that we only have 19 days of school left!!! Then, all of a sudden I felt like crying. Because, in the fall, it will be me and all 5 kids driving to school in the morning. My little red-head won't still be sleeping in his bed at home waiting to be awakened around 9:00, putz around the house, watch some shows, play with some toys, eat lunch and go to "school" for a half day at 11:30.
No, he will join the ranks of the others. Backpack with a lunch box or lunch money ("how will I buy lunch, Mom?" he wondered the other day. "I don't have any money.") Gym clothes and shoes. School supplies. Friends. A little shredding of the apron strings. Get me a kleenex.
Sure, all of my other kids have crossed this milestone already (although 3 of them didn't do it in Kindergarten...), but if you're a Mom, you already know that when the baby crosses it, it carries a little more weight in your heart. (To my other kids who might be reading this, don't take that wrong, you all carry the same amount of weight in my heart - it's just a timing issue.) :)
I suppose it could be the gift of God to me that I have this propensity. You see, by the time September 4th actually rolls around, I will be ready. I will have gone through all of my grieving and self-reflection. (Is this the right choice? Can he really handle it? Will Kindergarten turn him into an axe-murderer?) I will then be ready to be be strong for him, and for the rest of my kids who all have big changes coming in the fall. When they have a rough day, I'll be able to encourage them that it's just a bump in the road, that it happens to everyone, that they are up to the challenge, that they can do it.
I guess it's good. But, today, it doesn't feel like it.