Today was the first day of school. It is a day that I have been anticipating and dreading in equal measure for the last three months. My youngest son started full time school today. He joins his brothers in a Spanish Immersion program that will continue through 5th grade. For the next two years, there will be one school drop off and pick up. This will greatly simplify our lives in many ways.
Family and friends have been asking half tongue in cheek half seriously what I am going to do with my time now that all my boys are in school. Since September 2003, I have been a full time stay at home mom except for the ten months that I finished graduate school and dipped my toe in the water as a working mother. That wasn’t ideal for our family so I inevitably stayed home. Well actually we did anything but stay home.
There have been playgroups, preschool programs, travels, museum and zoo visits, park outings and many many errands with children in tow. In so many ways, that was a simpler time. The children were harder to care for because they needed help with so many things, but our days we our own. Five years ago, when the oldest started school those care-free days came to an end. We have to adhere to a school schedule and calendar now and it isn’t always convenient. There is no more traveling to NYC and further whenever we want. There are no more mid week trips to the zoo or Smithsonian museums with my boys. I can still do those things, but it won’t be the same. My free time is scheduled between 8:40 drop off and 3:05 pick up.
I plan to spend a lot of time in my boys’ classrooms. My middle son’s teacher already has a weekly job for me. I will do all of those errands without kids and hope to occasionally have lunch with my husband. I will do the school drop off and pick up most days since our elementary school is outside our neighborhood. I will take care of sick kids, do laundry and cook meals. Today I started a new fitness program which I will write more about later. Life is changing as it does, and while I am sad that babyhood is over for us, I am looking forward to the next chapter. I also wish my children every happiness and success as they move forward in their lives.