Today is open house, where I have to be two places at once (thankfully, for the high school freak called Shandie, hers isn't until tomorrow night.) So I go to the elementary school, and for the LAST TIME, I see my last child's first teacher. Monday will be the LAST TIME I will have a "very first day of school" moment.
I thought for years the day wouldn't come soon enough, where I had time in my day with no kids around. With them 4-15, I've been home with kids for 15 years now, with a two year break between the sets where I worked. But if I've been home, there's always been at least one kid home, too. This year, that changes. And now I'm not too sure I want it to.
I mean, of course, I WANT it to. Cooper will love school. He's the only boy and he's always gravitating toward other boys at the store and stuff. We live across the street from the elementary school, so last year, when Syd was in Pre-K, we could watch her at lunch as she played on the playground. This year, I'll get to watch Cooper do that. I said, "Are you excited to play with other little boys?"
He replied, "Yeah! And little girls, too!"
(His dad had a proud moment there.)
So I have three days left. Three days where I can still pretend he's the "baby". Three days before my last one starts the grand adventure. Three days before he realizes that his world doesn't revolve around his mother. Just three days and then I'll look up, and he'll be like Shandie, taller than me, and almost done with high school. Three days will turn into 15 years so damn fast. I know, because I swear it was only a few days ago that I was getting Shandie ready for her first day of school.
It's easy to pretend that the older two girls aren't getting bigger. Another year of high school or middle school isn't that big a thing. But to watch the baby, the one 11 years younger than the oldest, step outside and wave "Bye, Mom!" I don't know how my heart will handle it.
And once they start school, it's over. It goes faster and faster and each year zips by me before I can scream "SLOW DOWN!"
Tonight they take their school supplies so they don't have to haul them the first day. Last night I double checked his brand new Spiderman backpack to make sure it was ready.
Cooper, "It's really, really cool, Mom."
(He's not quite four - a week from today - and I've already lost "Mommy" from him.)
Me: "I'll miss you while you're at school."
Him: "I know. I miss you, too." (He doesn't say "I'll" yet.)
Then he grinned his lady-killer grin and hugged me.
People told me I'd cry this year, being the last of the "first day of school". I swore I wouldn't. I swore I'd been waiting for years for this day to come. I'd get to be Brenda part of the day instead of constantly "Mom", so no, I wouldn't shed a tear.