Yep, he liked it! Jake had a great 1st day of Kindergarten! I on the other hand well lots of you know it was painstaking for me. I didn’t mind sharing the pain as it happened with all my Face Book friends and Faith Filled Mom followers. What blew me away was the support I received from so many of you almost 30 of you emailed me or called me to talk and tell me it would be ok. I just love my friends. So just in case you missed it I will recount it all for you today now that it I am able to see the screen without tears.
We woke up, dressed, ate and readied ourselves for it: the first day of school. We walked as we always do, this time juggling school supply bags for each of my four children down the path. As we approached the school a long line of cars sat waiting in the carpool line no doubt saying “There they go” to me and my little entourage. Excitement filled the air for a few of my children and misery for my oldest not in the least bit excited about starting the 6th grade. We dropped each child off one by one and said our goodbyes for the day. Jake’s hand in mine we headed down the hall for a brief moment I thought I will just keep walking straight out of the school like we always do but I knew that would not be fair to him. So I turned and proceeded down that daunting Kindergarten hall where I knew full well that my life was about to change. He put up his backpack and lunchbox and jumped into my arms for a tight and reassuring hug. He pulled back from me examining my face, no tears just wrenched with raw emotion held back momentarily. I said “Have a fun day.”
The bell rang he sprung from arms into his classroom. He sat in his little chair with his back to me. I heard the principal’s voice across the scratchy PA system “Welcome to all the new students. It’s time for today’s Gospel reading.” The Gospel reading we would always stop and listen to on our way out the door after we dropped off the other children. Now I could not hold his hand, sit him on my lap to listen, or walk out that door together. I felt the tears stingy my eyes and bolted for the closest door. Outside I bumped into a friend who immediately threw one arm around me her other was holding her baby that she still has at home. I whispered through the tears “I have to run”. She called out “This might be your fastest run ever!” Running through the parking lot tears streaming I started my 2 mile run. I had been planning this run all summer. During the summer I had absolutely no time for running, I babysat and the heat of the summer was not very inviting. As I ran, the slowest run of my life, their voices echoed in my mind “Mommy run faster down this hill. Weeeeee!” Memories of pushing my two little boys in a double stroller years ago could not be repressed. “Can I have a bag of gummies at the top of the next hill if I am quiet mommy?” “Mommy look the school bus let’s race it”. They were flooded my thoughts.
Finally my run was over and for the first time in my life my house stood in front of me as an obstacle not my warm welcoming home full of children’s voices and laughter but dauntingly quiet and dark. I sat on the front porch sobbing. I didn’t want to go inside because I knew that no one was home. I pulled myself up opened the front door and sat on the cold tiles of the foyer floor crying. That homesick feeling was sinking more deeply with every second. I was home but without my children. From age 5 all I ever wanted was to be a mom and here I sat 31 years later blessed with the most wonderful family and the fortune of being a stay at home mom for the past 11 years all my dreams realized and all I could do was weep. Eleven years with children at my side, holding my hand yelling my name, driving me nuts, loving me, needing me and here I sat with no one, completely alone.
I called my husband and God bless him for loving me so much, he listened, consoled and tried to comfort me, thanking me for the last eleven years. He spoke the kindest words and all I could do was cry. I wanted to go back to school and bring them home with me. They were my children right? Why couldn’t I just walk in the doors of school and take them home with me? My husband was so kind with his words. He told me “We should meet for lunch that will help to pass the time.” Then I looked at the time and realized I had 6 hours to go before I could hold my littlest in my arms once more and I sobbed again. I let him go and thought about writing but all that I could write was heart wrenching and it hurt to do it.
So I posted my pain on Face Book and my friends emailed me their love and friendship. I cried reading every email. One said “Jake is probably having a good time in Kindergarten.” It was then that I realized Jake’s happiness or well being had nothing to do with my tears. Jake has been familiar with the school since he was born and I knew he was happy. These tears were about my missing him but more so than missing him was my mourning for the life I always wanted changing. I knew from the day he was born that this day would strip my heart clean. It is the closing of a stage of my motherhood that I have no choice but to accept, resistance would only cause more pain. I had to cry, accept the changes, and deal with missing him and altering my life. This may seem extreme to many moms but I spoke to a few moms that understood completely. When you stay at home with your children for that many years you form a life together that is undeniably intertwined. When something cuts a cord and steps out of that life you are left with an open wound where another little heart had once beat with your own. I know logically that I wanted to have children to love, to teach and to grow not to stunt their growth. Emotionally my heart was breaking; mentally I was so proud of what my children have become.
I cried more that day than any day of my life. Today is a better day. I have cried but started to adjust to the changes. Today I can write and think straight. My heart still hurts and misses Jake but it will heal. My children are growing up and I must grow with them. They still need me just in different ways now. I have to close the chapter and turn a new page, open to all that God wants me to read and learn and give. I accept this challenge with an open heart. I thank God that He blessed me with such precious children to love that are literally a part of who I am as a person. I am a mom and that is the most important job and privilege I will ever hold.