“Bye!” We wave as the school bus drives away with our precious children. Now, the question: did you go home and have a good cry, wondering what to do with your day? Or, did you go home and call your best friend and say, “I’ll meet you at noon at our favorite place to eat!” Perhaps you both giggled and hung up.
I’ll be honest here. I tried to cry about it, I really did. My children were entering a new phase in their life. They were leaving me behind. But, truthfully, all I could do is run into the bathroom and take a very long, hot shower in complete privacy and enjoy every minute of it, looking forward to my lunch and shopping date with my best friend. We hadn’t been able to do this for quite a while. It was a tradition: first day of school lunch and shopping, adult-style.
We did lament that we weren’t better mothers; sad to see them go, missing them all day and being excited to see them come home. We both admitted to loving our children more than life itself, but … having these days to ourselves was such a relief after a summer filled with outings to the lake, movie day, skating day, going to play with friends, having friends over and, “Oh, can’t they spend the night?” that we were exhausted!
This was our time to work on our own projects, make some quilts, some Christmas gifts, sit and watch General Hospital from start to finish (in those days there was no pausing live TV). We could take a nap, instead of persuading little balls of sugar to take a nap. We could read a book or do absolutely nothing!
We both knew the school year would soon fill up with activities as well. Sports, rehearsals, recitals, field trips (“Mom, please drive us. All the other moms do!”), and parent/teacher conferences, doctor’s appointments – some scheduled, some surprises.
The truth is, it was an important day in our lives as well as our children’s lives. They took another step toward becoming the adult we were training them to be. It was bittersweet, for sure. Then, I blinked a few times, and suddenly they were all graduated, and had families of their own! It went by so quickly – cherish the moments.