Tuesday, September 11, 2012

empty nester (for a couple hours)

last week on this day, it was the last day before Brielle started preschool.

I had many real friends and about a bazillion facebook friends go through the same thing-bringing their kids to preschool for the first time-in the couple of weeks before, and let me tell you...emotions were running HIGH.

only...not MY emotions.

I had decided at the beginning of the summer that B's goal MUST be to make it really easy on me to drop her off at preschool because she was driving. me. crazy.  like, bugging her siblings, hurting them just because, and whining all the time.  like, ALL the freaking time.  and I was READY for preschool to start.

and then sometime in the middle of the summer, when we were trying to work our new budget, and figure out how much pinkadink stuff I needed to make (and sell) each day in order to participate in the whole bill-paying thing that is so unfortunate in life, we decided it would be wise for Brielle to not only go to preschool 3 days a week, but ON her preschool days, to stay the other half of the day in the daycare too, just because then I'd have 3 whole days to work uninterrupted.  and at that point, just the THOUGHT of dropping her off somewhere for a whole day (and the fact that I'd have to make THREE lunches every morning, not two) brought be to tears every time.  I couldn't talk about, couldn't think about it.  tears.

And then sort of suddenly, I realized that I never actually signed her up for the daycare part, and good thing too, because I had spent most of the summer bumming around with my sisters instead of sewing, so we didn't really have the money to pay for her to have 'rest time' somewhere else.  so then I was back to being totally fine with her going to preschool 3 days a week for a couple hours.

and last Tuesday night Steve actually said to me that a friend might be calling me to talk about sending her little boy to preschool, and how hard it's been for her.  and I thought "WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME??????????"

Why is it so hard and so emotional for all these parents to send their kids to PRESCHOOL?  I mean,  yes, I cried when I sent Lillian, because that was my first time ever leaving any kid anywhere.  so I get it that your first one is hard.  And yes, I cried on when I dropped both big kids off at school this year, but only because it's all day and they're growing up, and it had NOTHING to do with the fact that I wanted them to be home with me.  but dropping my 3rd child off for a couple hours of interaction with other people at a place I already feel comfortable with?  no sad feelings.  at all.

now trust me.  I love my kids.  crazy love them.  But I have no desire to be with them all day every day.  homeschool moms, YOU ROCK.  you are way stronger than me.  I loved being home with my babies all day every day, and my toddlers, but once we get to this age where they can, like, talk like, um, like, valley girls and stuff?  yeah, still love you, but go talk like that with other 7 year olds who speak that language.  and go burn your excessive boy energy on a playgound instead of climbing (literally) up my hallway walls.  and when you get home, I'll be SO EXCITED to see you!

so I was trying to explain to Steve that the only comfort I could give anyone having a hard time is saying, "oh, I rememeber it was so hard with Lillian too."  and I told him about Missy who writes at It's Almost Naptime. she's my mom twin.  except she's way cooler and more hilarious than me. but everything she writes (that's not about adoption or the diet she has one of her children on) I TOTALLY relate to, and feel like she snuck into my head and wrote about my thoughts.  so when I read this post, I was thrilled to realized I'm not alone in my whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" idea.

so when the day came to drop Brielle off, I made sure my camera was charged and ready, and after a quick stop at Daddy's office, off we went to her school.  We had already been to her open house and she felt really confident and played so well by herself there. We were a bit early so we had a chance to meet some of the girls (Lyric and Anya) in her class before they acutally went in the room.  This is where things started to change for me emotionally.  Lyric was adorable and chatty and spinning in circles and going on and on and on about sisters and stuff.  Then Anya comes and she was adorable and singing and singing and singing and she never stopped til it was time to go in.  and the song?  girls just wanna have fun.  it was so awesome.  and during that time of talking with the other girls, Brielle shrunk down onto her haunches and stayed by my feet not saying a word to anyone.

and once I realized she might be nervous, I got emotional.

so we headed in to drop her off, and it was all a little awkward.  There are only 8 kids in her class, but it felt like the room was SO crowded, and parents were standing there, not really doing anything.  I took Brielle to hang up her backpack and move her little owl, and then took a few pictures. all the other parents were standing there, watching their kids play, but as I took the last picture, I felt it.

tears were coming, and coming HARD.

so I gave her a quick hug and a kiss and a "see you at 3!" and started to leave.  I asked the teacher if we could go because I just didn't understand why all the other parents were standing there and she said to go ahead and leave!  so I race to the door, which is RIGHT when she started talking to the parents about pick up procedures.  So I stifle the tears for 15 more seconds and then right when she's done I open the door....and the flood gates.

I started bawling.  like, weird faces and strange sounds bawling.  and I did NOT see it coming.  and I still to this day don't know what the emotions were that I was feeling.  the end of a stage of life maybe?  I'm not sure.  but it felt good.  it felt normal.  like I could view myself as a good mother again instead of a cold-hearted-kid-dropper-offer.

so yeah, I only cried the one day, and I guess I'm back to wondering what the big deal is.  I love it when she talks to me about stuff that I have no idea what she means. like the kangaroo who puts a book in her pouch. and the songs she tries to sing but I know she cannot possibly be singing the right words.  and the kids she talks about, with names she never remembers.  and the guinea pigs.  and the star in the apple that shows that Jesus loves her. it's all becoming part of what makes her HER.

so yeah, my baby is gone from me for a while.  but she told me not to worry, and that she'll always be my baby....even when she's a grown up. :)  and she's right.


Sara Crane said...

cold-hearted-kid-dropper-offer... ~oh gosh I loved it!! :-) loved this whole post - thanks for sharing! I had that happen last year with my Freshman in HIGH SCHOOL - unexpected, out-of-the-blue total sobbing the day I took him to find his locker (thankfully not in front of him or his friends)... and spent this entire summer waiting for my youngest to start pre-school, thinking the exact same thing as you!!

Missy at Its Almost Naptime said...

I'm such a cold-hearted-kid-dropper-offer. Yes I've wondered if there's something wrong with me. So then I just go take a nap til I'm over it. In my PERFECTLY QUIET HOUSE.