The Beginning and The End

Photo by Ann H on

Last week my son started kindergarten.  I know, it’s so cliché, a mom having a melt down on her kid’s first day of school.  But that isn’t exactly what happened.  I mean, full transparency, I needed to take the day off because of it, but it wasn’t an entire breakdown.  So my son is definitely extra sensitive and I pick up on that really easily so I knew he was having some emotions the morning of his first day.  I kept my cool and we walked to the school without any major issues, just the usual nerves he expressed well.  When we got to the school I took the obligatory pictures (I mean, come one, they put stands out there for kids to take pictures with, who wouldn’t have done it?!).  Again he did really well.  The doors opened and I let him walk in by himself but as soon as I noticed other parents going in, I changed my mind and I ran in after him. I felt guilty and didn’t want him to feel alone.  He had made it to his classroom so I knew he was ok and I took more pictures and then I walked home.

The first wave of emotion hit me when I got home.  The house was too quiet.  Yes, I do relish those moments and I normally seek them out because I’m trying to get things done, but this quiet was different.  It felt distinctly absent of something.  I know, that’s how silence and quiet work.  But it felt  heavy to me.  I dove into cleaning and organizing and it helped.  As time moved on, I started thinking about the things my son would help me with.  When I got to the piles of his toys, I started thinking of the things he would fight me on.  And out of nowhere, the thought hit me that one day everything will be clean and quiet forever.  That’s when I actually got sad.  I’ve spoken about my weird thing with time before, and in that moment I realized how quickly time passes.  My parents had an issue earlier in the week and they really struggled with it so I think I was extra sensitive to the passage of time.

It’s such a funny thing when you transition to that phase where you are taking care of both your parents and your kids.  I still remember going to my first day of kindergarten and now I’m taking my son.  I’ve transitioned from child to parent and my parents are now grandparents.  I remember feeling so safe with my parents and now I’m trying to create that security for my son.  That safety I felt was partially because of how close I was to my parents because my siblings were so much older than me.  And then the second wave hit me: my son is an only child.  So this first day was also my last day.  That was when I actually did lose it a little bit. 

Now, I don’t mean to come across as a complete emotional wreck or an overdramatic person (although I totally am).  The reality is I am super sensitive and these moments mean a lot to me.  They also teach me a lot.  Primarily about emotional control, but also about how to value what we have and to appreciate how we got here.  It’s important to relish in the moments we have and to appreciate them while we have them.  I remember trying to grow up so quickly because I wanted to be like my siblings so I never learned to appreciate where I was.  I want my son to be able to enjoy his time and I want to enjoy the time I have with him.  So often we wish for the next step or the next stage.  We want to be through all the hard stuff.  But we miss that the hard stuff shapes the good at the end.  We miss that we have good times on the journey to the next part.  The part we are on now is what we have. Everything is always beginning and ending so let those moments remind us of what is really important.

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