Today is bittersweet. I am so glad school is in session. The kids have been driving me nuts. Aj especially doesnt know what to do with himself without schedule and structure. Ben just wanders around. Ethan is ornery and I am his target. The girls help in mess making but shun mess cleaning. Chrysta constantly wants to go go go, take me here take me there, I want to drive. Cody never wants to go anywhere and never leaves his room. I have to call multiple times for him to help me. Jaeger just wants to watch tv all day and gets mad when I turn it off. Sophie is bored to death in her chair and if no one wants to push her around she starts asking everyone who walks past if they will "get me this" "get me that" despite the pile of toys in her lap. So Yes I am very happy to send them to school today. But its bittersweet.
It is the last time I will put one of my babies on the bus for the first day of first grade. I will no longer have a baby at home with me during the day(unless someone is sick or recovering). I will no longer have a toddler, preschooler, kindergartener. All my babies are growing up. When they are babies you think, hurry up and grow! Im tired of diapers, tantrums, etc. Then when you least expect it, when you hadn't even noticed those things have been gone for years, you realize, they HAVE grown. They don't need you anymore. They need you, of course, but not like an infant needs a Mama for survival. Not like a toddler needs a Mama for safety. Not like a preschooler needs a Mama for security as they seperate for the first time. Not like a Kindergartener needs a Mama to wave them goodbye on the bus. No, they don't need you like that anymore. They need you to remind them to do their homework. They need you to plan birthday parties. They need you to prepare meals. Occasionally they need you for some hugs and kisses and broken heart mending.
Their needs change. As a Mama, probably yours haven't. You need them to be your cuddly baby. You need hugs and kisses. You need to teach them things, and have fun with them. You need help with chores! But as I put my last full time student on the bus, I see my needs have changed. I need time for me. I need time to put some effort into things I enjoy. I need to have some peace and quiet moments. I need to run out at the drop of a hat without any preparation for sitters or tagalongs. I need to take some time to take care of me. I happily shoved my needs under the rug for years to give my children the all consuming attention they needed. Now they don't need me like that.
So with bittersweet tears, as I wave goodbye to the school bus I wave goodbye to that time of my life. My baby raising days are over. I am now the parent of school aged children. I am ready to enjoy adult activities with other adults. I am ready to move on. This might be the last time I send off a child for the first day of first grade, but it won't be the last time I cry over the loss of those busy, crazy, funny, diaper filled(pun intended) baby days.