Monday, August 18, 2008

Looking ahead...

I've been reading a lot of posts lately by mamas whose kids are going off to school. Some for the first time, to preschool or kindergarten, some with older kids returning again for another year.

And it is so interesting to me to see how each one handles it. The moms, I mean, not the kids. Some are excited for a little bit of free time, which I can totally understand. Some are a little sadder, wondering how their baby grew up overnight and where the time went.

It seems like such a far-off milestone for me. Waaaay down the road. Two or three years.

Well, the school that we are thinking about sending Savannah to announced recently that if the child's birthday falls before the end of December, they will allow them into the Pre-K program that September. Savannah was born on December 27, just before the cut-off.

That means my baby could be going to preschool next year. Next year, as in exactly one year from now, when she is 3 1/2.

Of course, we aren't deciding now. We'll see how she is doing, if she is ready, but if I know my child, little Miss Social Butterfly (ahem...definitely doesn't take after me in that regard), she will be thrilled to get to go to school. And I really do want her to be excited about it, to go and make friends and learn. I want her to stretch her little baby wings and fly, but just not too far or too fast. Not yet.

This weekend my hubby and I had the rare chance to go on a date, all by ourselves. We are all about frugal and free things, so we used a gift certificate to go out to eat and then another gift certificate to rent a movie (August Rush...good stuff).

So we dropped Savannah off with some friends, and then headed to the restaurant. We ate, and then drove home and watched the movie. It was 9:45 when it ended, and Ricardo left to go pick Savannah up.

And as I sat at home waiting for them to come back, I realized how much I miss her, even when she is gone for just a couple of hours. I heard the garage door groan as it opened, and I went to stand at the door so that I could grab her the minute she walked in and kiss her little cheeks and hear all about her night. I wanted to hear her jabber excitedly about her friend and the ball they kicked and the doll they played with, to hear her say, "Mama! We had ice c'eam!" And as much as I love being alone with my hubby, and I know it's healthy for us to take that time, our little family isn't complete until she is back with us.

At the same time, I don't want to be so completely wrapped up in being her mama that I forget who I am outside of that. Before I know it, she'll be gone, first to school, and then she'll grow up and leave for good, and I will still be me, apart from her. It's hard, that separating of the different roles that we play.

So, I'm pretty sure I'll cry a little on that day when she shrugs on her Dora backpack and heads off to the new exciting world of school; a turbulent mix of emotions where happy and sad collide all at once.

I guess that is what motherhood is all about.

21 comments:

MoziEsmé said...

Well said! I have such mixed feelings - knowing I how I crave ME time, yet miss baby so much whenever she's gone for any length of time.

Wendi said...

IT is a strange mix of emotions isn't it? With three active, busy, and sometimes DEMANDING boys I do love my alone time or date time. But I also miss them when they are gone from me. Maybe not for the first couple of hours :) But if it gets too long I am all about getting them back. :)
I sent K to preschool when he was 3. He seemed so little and so young - I have to say for me it was super hard. He LOVED it though. It took him a couple of weeks to adjust to not just being home with mom all the time, but he really did good. Sometimes separateing me from my babies is like taking a body part from me, but I'm learning more an dmore what it means to be a mom. You know - teaching them to be independant, not clinging to them so tightly they can barely breathe. :)
Thanks for your kind words on my post :) - I am feeling some what better today. Just have a little bit of dread for what may still await me.

Wendi said...

Oh by the way, it's a thrill to see my button on your blog. :) Awwww! :) How sweet.
You had mentioned something about changing the look of your blog in one of your comments to me. I don't know how to do the technical stuff, like add a column, mess with HTML, or any of that, but I love to design stuff (like my header and buttons - I just did them with some photo soft ware). Let me know if I can help with any thing. Also, I don't know if you've ever checked out Simply Fabulous Designs (From Lena, who came up with the three columns and background for my blog), but there are some cool lay outs for free on that site. Button for them is on my side bar.
I see, with your present blog look, that you are great with photo design stuff too - looks like you might be into digital scrapbooking? I actually love the look of your blog! :) It's classy. I also get the feeling of wanting to change things up a bit though. Something really 'you'. It's fun stuff! :) I designed my button, but then had Lena help me with the code stuff.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I agree with Wendy. It is a mix of emotion. You're happy for them to see their friends and for a little free time, even if it's at work. And you're sad that you're not going to see them until the afternoon and they're growing up.

I just posted about this too.

I say keep her home as long as possible. The time is very short.

Smilingsal said...

When the first one went off to kindergarten I used the time for one-on-one with the baby. When he toddled off, I used the time to shower--privately! ;)

Killlashandra said...

Separation anxiety is normal I think. I cried the first day I left W.W. at daycare. And then when I switched daycares I cried again. School might be easier because he will be so excited to start school it won't be quite so hard, maybe. That could just be wishful thinking on my part though. ;)

I had absolutely no problems watching my teens go back to school. LOL

Gretchen said...

Boy, motherhood is a lesson in holding on and letting go, isn't it? I know God prepares the way for us if we only ask, but He doesn't make it tear-free (happy or sad tears) on any account. There are days when you'll probably pine away for Savannah, and days when you're only too happy to see the back of her head as she heads off to school. There is no consistency except loving the stuffing out of them. :)

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

I was looking at my nine-year-old a few minutes ago, wondering where my teeny man went. He's going to be taller than I am soon. Just not right...

Anonymous said...

aww. I'm feeling sad already. It's so hard letting go. I am at the half way mark today until I have to go back to work and leave Ethan at daycare. But like Gretchen said, motherhood...holding on and letting go... I know that I am not the only one who can take care of him although I like to believe that. It's just so hard letting go. I trust he will be ok... And I trust I will be ok too. You are an awesome mom Jackie.

Love,
Hirra

mamajil said...

I miss all my kids when they are gone,and when I do have "me" time I enjoy it but then I am ready to step back into my life!! We kinda miss the whole first day of kindergarten by home educating our kids but there are other "firsts" that leave me with that "Happy sad" feeling... :)
I will tell you that last year when Sawyer was starting Kindergarten I thought I would tease him so I told him I heard his teacher was really mean....he started to cry (totally not the reaction I was after) Sam sat there saying "Saw,Saw don't cry mommy is the teacher and she really isn't that mean" oh well.... glad to know I'm not "that mean" :)

THE ROOST said...

You are so right, girl. It is bitter sweet for sure!

Jenn said...

Perfectly written! Being a mama can be so wonderfully sweet and sad at the same time.

mamachristina said...

I have been thinking about the same thing lately and I get teary eyed just thinking about sending Big Mister to scool, and his first big day.

SarahHub said...

I, for one, am not going to think about it. It HAS to be too far away!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Well, this is one area that I really can't relate to because I'm the only lunatic on this comment form who home schools. :-)

I guess I just couldn't stand the thought of sending them, so I just said, "Oh, I'll do it!"

(It really was more complicated than that.)

There are many difficult sacrifices for choosing to home school, but I will say that I feel for you guys who have to send them on, and I'm glad I don't have to.

But I DO have to MAKE some of that ME time ya'll are all talking about...

Carolina Mama said...

Oh wow that is coming fast. yikes. It seems earlier each year.

You have such a good balance for sure!

Cheri said...

It's a fine, fine line -that one between being a mother and still being who you are outside of being a mother. Tell me when you find the secret formula!

Becky said...

Yes, all part of it!!
You saw what I posted in the wee hours this morning! It's hard for me to entrust others with my kids...in the sense of how they will treat their little hearts!! FAITH!!

jennifer said...

oh... this post made me smile.

Don't you just looooove being a mommy?

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Oh, you just said that so very well. I too wonder how that time will feel. It is still two years away, but I know it will go so very quickly.

On another note, is it just me, or is it kind of strange getting back to blogging after a break?

Alana said...

It will be here before you know it. At least that's what happened to me ;-)