Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What was that?

School started in my town yesterday and I did what every kindergarten mother does on the first day of school…I cried.  What makes it a little different for me is that with both Kai and Elizabeth, I did not at all expect to cry.  When the pit in my stomach began to form, it took me by surprise, like checking your reflection in the mirror and discovering you have a huge chunk of spinach stuck in your teeth.  The sense of sadness and dread left me a little bewildered, thinking, “Huh, how did that get there?”  I have never been a clingy mom, nor have I ever had clingy kids.  I never lingered in doorways when I dropped my kids off at childcare, nor do I rush in for “One last hug.”  For better or worse, I usually drop my kids off and skip away to enjoy work or some well deserved alone time.
                I did okay for the first hour.  But after that first hour, I felt a like I had eaten some bad meat or something.  Then, before I could stop myself, I impulsively dialed my husband at work.  He barely got out his “Hello,” before I started spurting about, “I know this is crazy Josh, I know I’ve been talking about how great this would be, having the kids both in school,  but I am SO SAAAAD our baby is at school!  I feel so sad.  What is my problem?”  Again, before Josh could tell me what my problem was, I proceeded to dramatically chronicle Kai’s entire life with us.  The day we brought him home from China, how quickly he learned English, his first day in the Teddy Bear two year old class at our church, etc.  In those moments, you don’t list the matchbox car flushed down the toilet, or the three broken kitchen chairs, or the many temper tantrums in public places where you haul them out kicking and screaming tucked sideways under your arm.  Nope, the brain filters all of that junk out.  Josh listened with patience.  A hint of slightly forced understanding slipped through with his over emphasis on the sympathetic tone, “Oh, I know it.  I K-N-O-W…” 
                What he was really thinking with each “I know…” is, “I know you are NUTS Kate!” He is correct.  I’ve been giddy for the last couple of weeks pondering this day.  Both of the kids in school, full time!  At last, I would have a little bit of time to myself.  Oh the projects I would get done, the writing I would do! My humble sewing machine would break from overuse.  My lonely bike and I would finally tour those beckoning country roads for hours on end.  All of this was supposed to transpire during the two week break I have right now between the kids being starting school and me starting the fall semester for my school.
                I am used to Elizabeth being in school full time.  I see now, that I am not used to Kai being in school full time. The shock came from being at home alone.  Usually, I am at school or at work when the kids are at school.  So, I did it. I cried.  Part of me felt a little better that I did cry.  Sometimes I feel guilty listening to other mothers talk about how much they do not want summer to end; meanwhile I have a mental countdown ticking away.  At the end of the day, both of the kids bounded into the house ecstatic with news of their first day.  We are moving on as a family. 
                I’ve got a two week break to get some things done, and then it is full throttle to finish my masters program.  I just hope I am excited about my year as the kids seem to be about theirs!

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