Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Countdown is on

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.

I lied.


kacey said...

There you are! I was getting worried my blog feed was broken *g

Hugs on the last baby leaving the nest for school. But enjoy all that alone time!! Write, write, write.

and on Tuesday's post re: Stephanie Bond's workshop. I've heard more good things about it. I'm sorry I missed it. I'll have to listen to it on the CD. Can't wait for that to get here either!

Sorry I missed meeting you in Reno!

Duke_of_Earle said...

Welcome back! I was starting to wonder if they'd kidnapped you in Reno. Or if you just decided to stay and write!

Based on my parenting experience, you're right. You'll cry again. And again. And...

Ain't it great!


Karyn Lyndon said...

Stop it, you're making me cry!

Anonymous said...

Your comments are right on the button! Hey, Check this out... You're Going To LOVE This Site. Visit Free Downloads Site!

Dadio said...

Jesus Brenda you even made ME choke up. The song "Cats in the Cradle" started playing in my head. I'm cancelling everything I planned this weekend and am spending every minute with my kids.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Rah, Duke! You'll make me cry again - knock it off!

Karyn - depressing, isn't it?? -sigh-

Kacey - I hate we didn't meet up! My list for Atlanta is already growing, and you're on it! And yes, I plan to write, write, write. Then write some more.

Dadio - Sorry! (Kinda. Okay, no, not really. LOL) Zerbert those cute baby necks for me. :)

Josie said...

Oh gosh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with these feelings.

Jill Monroe said...

Ohhh, you made me cry, too. My baby also goes to full day school this year.

Christine Keach said...

Treasure the moments as you send your boy off to Kinder!

Then get your butt in the chair and write!

Rachel Vincent said...

My oldest starts (all day)Kindergarten on Wednesday, and I'm having a rough time with it. It's good to know that I'm not the only one not entirely happy to watch them grow up.

Lynn Daniels said...


Have they had their first day yet? How'd it go?

Suzanne said...

The years DO zip by faster the older they get!!! And I know that feeling of having to be two places at once at different schools. It's impossible!!

Allison Brennan said...

You got me all weepy, Brenda. Here I check out your blog because you always make me laugh, and now I'm thinking about how fast time goes. I'm three years behind you -- my oldest is 11 and going into 6th grade, but she's only 5 inches and one shoes size smaller than me.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Chris is just so mean to me. And yet I tolerate it. I'm too kind-hearted, really. :P

Nope, Rachel, you're not alone. I'm totally there and drowning in it all. Today, day two, I was convinced he's just too young to be in school and can wait another year. Then I remembered I said the same thing about Sydney last year and it was the best thing I'd ever done for off he went. Again.

Suzanne, it is impossible, and yet we somehow manage it anyway. This is why we're women: We get the impossible done regardless.

Allison: SORRY! Think of it as my preparing you for the years ahead! I'm giving you invaluable insight! (Yeah, that sounds like a crock to my ears, too, but work with me here, k?) I'm all giggly-n-shyt cuz you think I'm funny. Huh. Made my day! Thanks! (We need to email soon and catch up on our catching up!)

Hope Ramsay said...


This weekend I travel six hours to take a some furniture to my "baby" who is 19 years old and a sophomore in college. She's moving into her first apartment and she's so excited.

I'm excited for her, too. And we'll spend some time next weekend helping (and paying for) her to fix the place up a bit.

But I miss her and worry about her every day.

The universal truth here is that our job as mothers is to let them go. And that starts almost at the moment of birth, if you stop and think about it. But it's so damn hard, sometimes, isn't it?