I can’t believe that tomorrow is THE TOMORROW….the day that I send my youngest, Chachi off to kindergarten… full day…. 5 days a week. How can it be here? Like all parents at these milestones, I have such a bittersweet taste in my mouth and my eyes have welled up with tears off and on all day. I talked to my mom today and she said she remembered that day well for her, too. Believe me I am looking forward to having 30 hours a week to myself, getting to work in my studio and picking up paint jobs to help feed these growing boys. Or perhaps I will find a job and become part of something that I have yet to imagine yet. I am thrilled to not be driving 3 hours a day getting boys to different schools all over town. I am not delusional, there will still be plenty of running boys here and there. But, for this year at least, it will be a lot less.
As I watched Charlie take in his supplies to school and meet his teacher today, he instantly seemed smaller and younger than I normally think of him. He was nervous and quiet but curious to find his name on his cubby and locker. He didn’t wander far from my side but managed to spot a Dalmatian stuffed animal tucked away in a basket that looks like one that he sleeps with each night. He seemed relieved to see something familiar and he flashed a big smile. He has been checking in with me a lot to show me the progress of his first loose tooth or just for a hug and I am pretty sure he has a hard time breathing as I squeeze him as tight as I can.
My role as a mother is shifting, as it should. It is still hard to let go though and know how I will fit into the days ahead. But tonight we have slipped back into our evening routine. The boys are tucked into bed while it is still light out for the first time since May. Their school clothes are laid out for the morning and their clean and beautiful faces are lit up by their reading lights. In 20 minutes, I will go down for lights out and give lots of hugs and kisses and whisper something special in each of their ears. I am grateful I have years left of this part of motherhood.
I know Charlie is ready for tomorrow. I am as well. But, I have much more confidence in him than I do in myself. Can I really take this time and use it well to create this part of myself that has been bubbling to the surface for years? Will I have have the self discipline needed to push myself forward and move through the scary parts? In my head, I have been using tomorrow as a starting point for big dreams. Now it is here. Now it is time to step up and get to work. I am going to honor this day by painting my studio door a vibrant red and set my intentions with each brush stroke. Then I am taking my friend, who makes me laugh and smile, out to lunch for her 50th. My mom agreed that tomorrow will be bittersweet, but she said it is definitely more sweet than bitter. So with her wisdom, I will welcome sweet tomorrow with an open heart and mind.