I read the blog Momastery sometimes. Last year, I read this one blog post that had me just GIDDY for the first day of school, 2014. I was going to be exactly like Glennon. 11 years…full time stay at home mom (plus numerous “money making” schemes and a part time work at home job that generally doesn’t interfere with the full time mama gig.). I was going to literally JUMP for joy!
Then…first day of school came. My “baby” (who happens to be taller them pretty much the entire Kindergarten and first grade) started school! One in middle school, two at Dodge Elementary.
I dropped him off, no tears from either of us. Entered an eerily quiet house, just long enough to yell to Bart (who now works from home full time) that I was off to meet friends for Starbucks and hanging out.
First day, went great!
Second day, went okay.
Third day….it’s like Ethan and I turned into mental patients. I totally blame this on Ethan, though. 100%. And 0% on the fact I’d worked til midnight the night before and had also worked that morning from 6:30-8 a.m. The new-ness of school was wearing off for Ethan. He was realizing this early morning thing was NOT going away. P.J’s are not appropriate school attire. He can’t bring his Slam City Wrestler to show his friends. And, each day he had to WORK.
Drop off on day 3 was traumatic. For both of us. He had to be carried/drug (this kid is heavy, y’all!) into the school. Held to the side of the locker while I unpacked his backpack. Then, his tiny itty bitty teacher came out to save the day (Thank you Mrs. James). She picked him up in one swoop (That lady has got muscles, y’all…I bet she does weight lifting challenges in her spare time, just saying, I had no idea!) and carried him inside, as he cried and kicked her, and shooed me away…it was for the best. A parent staying does NOT make things better. I KNOW this. I have seen this happen. I just never had it happen to me…..
So, needless to say, I was a nervous wreck that day. I cried. I was in a pissy mood. I literally had to bite my tongue to keep from cussing the kioski dead sea salt scrub man who asked me not once, not twice, but THREE times to take his product. Then, on the way back out of the mall, he tells me, “I believe in second chances!”. At that point, I bit my tongue, put my head down, and kept walking. I am *so* proud I didn’t punch that asshat out. Or open my mouth. I was really in a foul mood.
When I went to get Ethan that day, they said he did okay, after about ten minutes of sitting and shooting “Go to hell” looks. I know that look well…..
So, next day, I am stressed out. Ethan doesn’t to go to school. I am so nervous we are going to have a repeat of being carried into class. I don’t want his teachers to take away his recess if he misbehaves in that manner again (p.s. he gets all “green lights” for behavior, so it is the getting him INTO class part that is a problem, once he is engrossed in the work, he is fine, and has happy tales to tell at the end of each day!) and I don’t want to be worried sick about him all day…worried he won’t snap out of his bad mood and will misbehave and be sent to the PAC room or principal.
Although he did walk into his class on his own (Thanks Aunt Jess for the family pic in his pocket idea), he’s not really happy about it.
So, you get the picture…school has been a battle to start out. It’s caused all these deeply hidden emotions of being alone and missing my babies to come to the surface. I turned into a big ball of crazy. I felt like maybe I wasn’t as needed, like I wasn’t quite sure what my next phase was supposed to look like, because what I was experiencing and had planned for the future is not what I thought it would be, not even last spring when I looked forward to all 3 boys being in school full time. It was as if I didn’t know quite who I was anymore…identity crisis is one way I heard this feeling referred to in a podcast I listened to. (Love Power of Moms podcasts!)
But today…today I feel like I can confidently say YES! IT GETS BETTER! I left Ethan in the line before the school bell rang, where he was talking to his friend from preschool who is not in his class this year. Ethan didn’t turn to me with tears in his eyes, his voice quivering, and say, “Don’t go Mama. Don’t leave me here, please!” desperation in his voice. He smiled and gave me his cheek so I could kiss him, but didn’t run after me for ONE MORE HUG PLEASE MAMA PLEASE.
And it felt so good.
I am so happy he has (hopefully) found his groove.
I am not say there will not be more hard days ahead. Ethan is and has always been a hard kid. But, the joy I felt today as I left without one moment of upset or sadness…THAT is what I need. What I want. All I want for my children is for them to be successful. To do the best that THEY can do. It might not be the best that others can do, but as long as they try, then they win. And I think Ethan is figuring it out and now doing his best. And for that I am so grateful.
Because seriously, I was ready to go to the doctor and get a script for some crazy person anxiety pills…sure, I am not exactly sure what this new phase in MY life holds….there are so many changes that will be happening within the next year. But, for today, I will kick up my heels and say YES SCHOOL IS IN! My babies are growing up…and I love it! Someday I will be grateful for the lessons I will figure out I learned from this hard time. But for now, I am just grateful to have easier mornings where I am not a crazy person the whole day, ready to snap at the kioski guys just doing their job, no matter how awfully annoying that job may be….