A Mother's Secret

Let me tell you a secret. For the past 3 years and 3 months, every time I’ve reached my wits end – become burned out, exhausted, and transformed into a certified “Mombie”, I tell myself – “Wow, it’ll be heaven to get a few hours back when he starts school…”

Yesterday, my husband put a down payment for my son’s first year in school.

In just a week’s time, my son will be off to school. June 9. Every single weekday, from 8 – 11 o’clock in the morning.

My little buddy. My eternal companion. My Siamese twin.

And I am suddenly heartbroken.

How did this happen?? Suddenly, I am faced with reality – no longer will I have this little boy “bugging” me, stopping me from taking that call, running into my office, telling me he wants to play with only me, begging me for 5 more minutes.

No longer will I be able to peek through my office blinds and watch him play outside, in between coaching calls/making presentations/writing reports. No longer will I have to lock my door, worried that he’ll run in, as a client is venting/brainstorming/visualizing. No longer will I have an eternally ready and willing date, when I want to procrastinate from work.

No longer.

Because suddenly, he is all grown up. Suddenly.

My heart races – I ask my husband, “Are we sure he’s ready to go to school already?” Half hoping the husband will say, “You’re right, he’s not. Let’s wait another year.”

But he is ready. My boy is ready. He’s ready to step out and be his own person – for just three hours a day, every weekday. I try to tell myself I’m being dramatic – it’s just three hours. But it’s three hours this year, next year, and the year after that. Then, maybe seven hours; then sooner or later, his life will be his own and I will be the one “bugging” him to spend time with me, begging for 5 more minutes, telling him I want to talk to him.

And now I know – the secret every parent has – every smile, every wave, every “You’re going to have a great first day! You can do it! I am so excited for you!” is mixed in with, “This soon? No! Too fast! Too soon! Stay, stay, stay!”

Yes... everything does come to an end. Those long, sleepless nights I spent rocking you, praying you'd fall asleep - then STAY asleep - those have come to an end. Those days when I could not leave you even to go to the bathroom - those are now few and far between. Those moments when you'd cry if I'd leave the room - done. But with those endings, come beginnings that I'm not sure I'm ready for... Am I ready to send you off to school? To watch you grow up? To know you are spreading your wings?

Parenthood is not for the faint of heart; but for you, I stand strong. And when I wave at you on your first day of school, know that the "You can do it! I am so excited for you!" far outweighs the "No, not yet!" because I know, deep in my heart, you are forever mine as I am forever yours :) I promise to hold back the tears on June 9... at least until you step into your classroom ;)