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Thursday, August 23, 2012

hold you a little longer

Every year, around back to school time, even as a kid---I get a little emo. 

Probably it was more so mourning the loss of the care free summer. The late evenings out with neighborhood friends, playing 50 million rounds of capture-the-flag in my yard, sleeping in, dreading the cold morning bus rides...and most of all, the unknown.

Through my years of being a teacher? I equally dreaded back to school time. It's true. 

I'm not one of those people who gets excited about all the fresh new supplies out in stores. I don't really even get excited about a new schedule, a change of events, a new time to eat lunch, a new time for my planning period, or even the whole having new students-thing. 

Most of all, I dreaded the beginning-of-the-year meetings. 

Not to mention, the amount of talking you have to do the first week? Always, always, always gave me laryngitis. I wish I was kidding

All that to say. I really don't like back to school time. I don't. Never have. 

**

The last few weeks I've been seeing my friends post blog posts and instagram photos of their babies going off to school for the first time, whether it be preschool or kindergarten.

I don't know if it's just my mom nature or what, but every photo literally has me tearing up. I can feel a huge knot in my throat, both anxiousness and excitement, but mostly some kind of sadness that this was someones little baby, now going off to school, alone

My niece, who I swear yesterday was just a tiny little newborn I was visiting and cuddling in the hospital, is headed off to Kindergarten next week. I'm not even her momma and I'm kind of a wreck about it.

I think about the day it'll come for me. Most likely, this is my last 'school' year home with Emeline because next Fall she can go to preschool four mornings a week. Where I have to trust someone else is teaching and caring for her and loving her. Where I have to pray and hope that everything we've taught her has stuck and that it'll be practiced when we're not around. Where she gets to learn, grow and explore---and become an even better little person than she already is.

I can already feel the knot in my throat. 

I'm such a mom.

***

Last night, it was about 2am when I heard it. Lucy was doing her Beginning Stages of Fussing---she was hungry. She was next to me in her bassinet, wiggling and 'eh-eh' ing. I sat up, got myself situated, and reached over for my little squish. 

I began to feed her, and as usual--so I don't completely fall asleep, I slid my phone open and decided to open my google reader to see if anything new had popped up, and read a blog post or two. 

I saw that Kelle Hampton had a post written to her daughter, the night before she starts Kindergarten. And I knew. I just knew. If I read that? I'd be a mess. But yet, I did anyway.

Here I am, feeding my little baby, reading about how this beautiful mother wonders if she treasured all the time enough with her daughter before she became a kindergartener. Wondering if she should have spent one more minute rocking her before laying her back in her crib. Wondering if she should have read her one more book, kissed her squishy cheek just one more time. 

But also equally knowing how the unknown of school, and new situations, and new life lessons will be so good for her daughter. That uncomfortable moments and overcoming them will help her to become strong. 

cue tears.

Before I went to bed last night, I told Declan that I just can't wait for the day I can close my eyes and then wake up at 8am for the first time. 

My sleep deprivation was talking. I'm human. Sleep feels great. Awesome, really. And right now I don't get a ton of it--or uninterrupted, I should say. And most likely, I won't for a while. 

But after reading that, all I wanted to do was hold Lucy a little bit longer. I wanted to run into Emeline's room and cuddle with her in her tiny little bed. Because I know that in no time it's going to feel like 'they were just babies, and now they're off to school'

I already know it's true. The days are so long. Right now? My nights feel so so so long. But the years are short. So stinkin' short, and they go in a flash.

If you see me walking around with toothpicks in my eyes, it's because I'm trying not to blink.

**


28 comments:

  1. This is EXACTLY how I'm feeling now. Emmy starts pre-k 3 on September 10th and I am a mess already! She'll onl be gone in the mornings, but it's 5 days a week...our whole world is going to change soon. Normally I was one of those excited students/teachers in the fall...now? Totally dreading it

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  2. Thank u for making this pregnant lady cry this morning... Awesome heartfelt post!

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  3. Thinking about the day I have to send Ellie off to school gives me heart palpitations. I might never do it. I hate the fact that kindergarden is all day now. For some unknown reason my husband honestly thinks kindergarden is optional! So I think I'll let him continue to think this and keep my baby at home forever ;) now if only she'd just stay little...

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  4. Yes, yes, and yes. In my sleep deprived state it's easy to focus on the challenges of this stage, but there are so many joys. Thanks for the reminder--you can't say it often enough.

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  5. I've read a few similar posts in the past few weeks as everyone sends their babies off to school and gets me a little teary. Not because I'm sad about sending my baby off to school, but because I've been sending my baby off to "school" since he was 6 weeks old and I worry the whole Kindergarten thing isn't going to be as special for me as all these other moms make it out to be. Does that even make sense?

    Then again, I almost cried at Preschool graduation this year and my baby is still 3 years from that. So I'll probably be a wreck at the bus stop with all the other blubbering mothers.

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  6. Finn is only 3 months old and I get all emotional thinking of him growing up and wanting to be away from mommy.

    Back to school is double bitter for me this year, I have to go back to work AND I have to leave my little man, too. Tears!

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  7. Well thanks for making me cry now. Sheesh. Why do they have to grow up so fast. Each new season is so much fun, but I will SO miss the 'littleness' of them. They are so precious! Enjoy your time at home. At least you aren't in a cubicle. ;)

    xoxoxo

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  8. Oh, Katie. Such a good post. My little boy will be 16 months soon. I keep thinking about how time just flies. Soon he will be a little boy all his own. For now, I want to cherish each cuddle and open mouth kiss, because it goes oh so fast!

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  9. I'm a teacher who headed back to school just a week ago, leaving my 4 month old baby at home. *cue tears.

    Hardest thing ever.

    I know what you mean about holding a little longer. I find myself doing it. And as some mommy's are trying to get their kid on a "sleep through the night" schedule. I'm soaking in the 4am snuggle feeds.

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  10. I hear you times 1,000. But the great thing? Connor will get to go to preschool right in my building. He will walk through the door with me in the morning at at 8:00 I can walk him down to his room. I will get to see him in the hall in first, second, third grade.

    While being a working mom sucks at times, I love that my job will allow me to catch glimpses into his day so I don't feel like I am missing out 100%.

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  11. One of the best posts ever. Awesome advice. My son (just turned 2) will not go to bed without me. Sitting next to him, on the floor, laying my head next to his in his little toddler bed. Some nights? I just want him to go to sleep on his own! He used to! He was just fine. But because of this or that or whatever, he just can't do it on his own anymore. (Well, he could if I let him cry and cry, which I won't). Some nights he wants to sit on the couch with me to go to sleep. And I've started realizing that who cares?! In a few years I'll wish so badly that I could hold him in my lap on the couch and put him to sleep! It's not the end of the world that he doesn't go to bed on his own. (although some nights it feels like it is, and it'll be awful if I ever spend the night away from him - poor babysitter!) but right now? He falls asleep with me next to him, and I can stare at his face, his curls, his fingers, his toes, everything that just yesterday was so so tiny, and now is so big! {cue lump in throat - ah! I have to stop!} I've even started putting my shirt in bed with him to help him sleep. Sigh. I'm such a mom {too}! But isn't it great? Some people wouldn't agree with letting your child fall asleep with you every night, but you know what? I'm going to enjoy it while I can, because someday {all too soon} I'll be sending him off to preschool {I couldn't type kindergarten - too much to handle!!} Enjoy these days :)

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  12. I read that before I went to bed too. And I was ALREADY all sappy about only having one more year with S before all day K. :( After I read that post, I snuck in S's room and asked her if she wanted to have a sleepover with me in the spare room. Of course she did. And I loved it as much as she did - even though I couldn't sleep with a giant kid sprawled across me. It was worth it.

    It goes sooooooooo fast! So fast.

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  13. I just finished my 1st week and have a gross, crackly voice. Ugh. I hate that part, too.

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  14. Oh girl! I am right there with you. I'm sending Macey to school one day a week in September and I already tear up about it. I have to remind myself that she will love it!

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  15. I was holding back tears at the check out today as the girl told me her child starts kindergarten next week. I don't know the woman from anywhere and my heart aches for them. It is good growth, but absolutely heart wrenching. Today I skipped the story/song time routine before nap because I just couldn't be mommy anymore. This reminds me to not make it a habit. There is only this little window of tiny singing voices and mispronunciation and sweet snuggles and sloppy kisses. It's not worth my impatience to let it slip by. Good post.

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  16. And now I'm crying. This is speaking to me right now, in the wake of a double ear infection and a cutting molar, I'm wishing this week to go quicker so we can manage a normal nights sleep. But you're so right, even these sleepless nights are something to hold onto. Thanks for the reminder

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  17. SO true Katie! I get super freaked when I think my baby will be going to Kindergarten in 3 years. THREE! How is that possible? How have 2 years already flown by? I'm scared, I'm not going to lie, but I'm so excited for her because I loved everything about Kindergarten and I hope she will too.

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  18. This is exactly the way I'm feeling right now. My oldest goes off to pre-K in just a couple of weeks. Every day the last few weeks (okay, months) I've wondered how in the world my baby has gotten so big so fast! I'm oh so proud of him, and so excited for him to go to school and be his own person, but I'm just so sad that it's came so fast. I swear we just brought him home from the hospital.

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  19. Aw! This made me sniffle! I know how you feel a bit (though I'm just the nanny!). The girls I've been caring for since birth are now 4 and 5 1/2, and I just can't believe it! The sweet little one (Charlotte) is going to be starting Pre-K in a week...and it makes me want to cry! Where has the time gone?? It is so fun to see them growing up, but sad to let them go! You just have to remember that when they come home -- they CANNOT wait to see you!

    Love & Good luck!
    http://insunshineandshadowsmew.blogspot.com/

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  20. I've been thinking about my daughter going to Kindergarten a lot lately too...she'll be two next month so clearly I need to get my emotions in check. I mean I've got 3 more years but the last 2 years went so fast. It just seems so odd to send a it y little person off to school all day without her momma!

    It's funny that whe I'm teaching I never thought that way but now that my daughter is getting older I do.

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  21. Girl, you are SO right, it all goes faster than we can even comprehend.

    My second started Kinder last week and it's CUH-RAZY to watch my little baby boy walk away from me with that big ole back pack on his back.

    xo

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  22. Stop it now!!!!! You are killing me;) but seriously it's so bittersweet it crazy!!! Mines only 1.5 years and I look at her lately and think she is 40!!! I almost go into shock.

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  23. Stop it now!!!!! You are killing me;) but seriously it's so bittersweet it crazy!!! Mines only 1.5 years and I look at her lately and think she is 40!!! I almost go into shock.

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  24. i LOVE this. it must be the back to school season because i just wrote a post similar to this last week. it kills me how fast this is going. and you're right, you basically have to not blink because they are changing and growing so quickly..

    i swear, time did not go this fast when i was growing up...

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  25. I feel this same way even more so now that we're officially preparing for another child. I blink and Mia changes. As she rapidly approaches her 3rd birthday I think of how far we have come, especially when I see my nieces. One of which just turned 7 and started 2nd grade? I mean what? I remember rocking her as a baby like it was yesterday.

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  26. Um, I just read Kelle's post not long before this one (can you tell I'm behind in my blog reading?) and barely got through it. I didn't even finish before I jumped up and ran to give Noah another hug and a million kisses. :) There are so many unknowns for us when it comes to Noah's education, but in any case, he's still growing faster than I want him to.

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  27. My experience isn't quite the same since I have twins... but the emotions are similar; I especially relate to the getting every one in the car part. I don't have any advice really except: fake it until you make it. It is so cliche, but that is what I did for months. And somedays it is still what I am doing. Even though I am running through the parking lot attempting to keep my kids alive, keeping the cart from crashing into a car and trying not to lose it in the 95 degree heat while wrangling my twin toddlers, every time I get home and get everyone unloaded I think, "I did it." And every time I do it, I realize I can do it again. Sometimes it sucks. A lot. On occasion I've left the store without buying anything. Sometimes I just say no to things because I am not ready to exert the energy necessary. But the reality is that I can- and YOU can- do all the things you want to do. Through practice and patience, through lots of success and a few failures, you will suddenly realize that you are doing it.

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