The other day while driving my son to middle school, I encountered a woman I didn’t know.
She was driving with a sense of purpose I’d not seen before. She was muttering things at cars in front of her that politeness won’t allow me to print. No car would let her in, even though her son was running late to school and she had a cranky five year-old in the back seat with a fever and strep throat. Imagine my surprise when I glanced in the mirror and saw my reflection!
Perhaps it’s all the snow we’ve had in New York. Or the fact that in the last few weeks, I‘ve had one kid or the other home from school. But I’ve felt old and somewhat cranky.
Time is going so fast, and my kids are growing too quickly. This year my oldest started middle school, and my baby started kindergarten. It’s great to have time to go the gym and work on my blog, but I miss my babies.
Was it a crazy time? Yes, but the sweet times holding my little ones or dancing with them to Nick Jr. songs made up for the insanity.
My days are now busy getting backpacks ready and serving as homework cop and chauffeur. The leisurely walks pushing strollers or pulling wagons are gone. I live and die by the school calendar.
We’re always busy preparing for the next project, concert, or test. Days go by so fast, I barely get used to one month before I’m into the next.
I’m not the only one in my family reacting to the new schedule and its pressures. So is my fun-loving, easy-going five-year-old. The old days were far from stress-free or leisurely, but each day we had time when it was just the two of us. Grocery shopping or driving to pre-school was our special time.
I knew I would miss it. I didn’t realize he missed it, too.
My little guy never seemed averse to leaving me. Unlike my other two, who would cry and at least pretend to miss me, the only time he ever cried was when I would pick him up from school.
Only a pretty secure mom could wait with mothers whose little ones are running to them cheering. Mine had to be comforted.
“It’s OK honey. You get to come back tomorrow,” his pre-school teacher would say.
The first day of kindergarten brought a few tears and leg holding. Then the bus came, and it was, “Bye mom. See you later.”
So I was surprised by how clingy he’s been this past week. I first chalked it up to the strep throat. The poor kid looked horrible. I would try to make him feel better by telling him he could go back to school soon.
This is the child who on Saturdays says he wants to see his teacher and names every kid in his class. When he said, “No I want to stay with you mommy,” I figured it was the fever talking.
But Thursday night as I was getting him ready for bed, I told him he might be able to go to school the next day.
“I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay home.”
I was shocked and thought I should check his temperature again.
“Oh, sweetie, you are going to love seeing all your friends. I bet Mrs. Wilson has really missed you.”
“I don’t want Mrs. Wilson. I want Mrs. You!”
I’m sure there will be tears Monday when the bus comes. He might even cry too. But then he will get on the bus, throw me a kiss and go with his friends.
My babies are growing up.
Of course that is what every mother wants. I miss the baby years but will do my best to enjoy this stage in our lives. It won’t be long before I wonder what happened to the frenzied woman who blurted out choice language while racing to get her kids to school.
Time goes too fast!