Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pushing them out of the Nest

So today Hockey Boy started first grade. This is his first year going all day and also his first year riding the bus. And tomorrow Middle Man starts all day kindergarten at the same school and will also be riding the bus. They are both really excited and are very ready to go. I have been counting down the days to full day school since they were born. At times this summer I would remind myself that fall was coming and soon they would be at school. No more dragging three boys to the grocery store or Target. Time to spend with just Little One going to music time at the toy store and toddler time at the library. Something I loved doing with the older boys when they were little but have not been able to do with all three being different ages. Space for everyone to get away from each other, have experiences, and then come back together at the end of the day without being sick of being together all the time.

But as we started Labor Day weekend, I started to lose it. The tears started forming. I am not ready to push my babies out of the nest. I have loved shaping them and spending time with them these last 5 - 6 years. I have loved seeing them play with their friends, come up with imaginative games together, and grow and learn new things. I have been the central character in their lives. And now a teacher, I just met is going to spend more time with my boys each day than I do. I am sure they are both wonderful. Thankfully I am still here when they come home to greet them and help them figure out the mysteries of playground friendships and new math. I will be here to pack their lunches and make sure they take a sweatshirt. But it is just a weird thing to realize I spent all these years with my kids and now I am sending them out into the world. And on a bus of all things. For some reason the bus has me worried, which is funny because both myself and my husband road the bus to school as kids. And I have fond memories of the bus and hanging out at the bus stop.

I had such a hard time sleeping last night. Thoughts of homeschooling drifted through my mind, as did memories of Hockey Boy playing with his classmates after kindergarten. I know deep down that he will be fine, and better yet, that he really will thrive at school. Both boys love going to school and are really sad if they are sick and have to miss out on the fun. We did summer school work, enrichment activities and field trips this summer. A very mini taste of what homeschooling would look like for us and it was fun for a summer but not a long term answer for our family. We all love being part of a school community. We love getting to know our neighbors and meeting people that are different than us in some ways, but who are so very similar as well.

So this morning after a long night, we all got up, Hockey Boy put on his first day of school clothes, though he would have preferred play clothes, and we all headed out to the bus stop. It was a big morning for us and even Daddy stayed home to witness this historic event in our family. Hockey Boy told us we could go home once we got him there with the other kids, but then how would we have gotten the adorable picture of my baby getting on the big yellow bus. He was thrilled to be going. And while I shed a few tears last night. I think I am ready to start first grade. But he does need to know that he is not allowed to graduate or leave home....EVER!

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