My youngest, and last, went back to school this week. For the last 22 years I have been sending children off to school. By now you would think I would have a good routine. I do… sort of. But it's not what you think.
It goes a little like this:
Get kids out the door, onto the bus, and off to school.
Sit in the kitchen and listen to the silence of the house.
Poke about the fridge for something, settle for leftover something.
Check the clock
Walk around, cleaning up, thinking how quiet it is.
Check the clock
Sit on the couch. Fall over. Lie on the couch.
Check the clock.
Realize that the first week of school sucks! I miss my kids.
Wait as calmly as I can for the bus to bring home the life and excitement back to the house.
Yeah, I am one of those parents who truly loves having my kids around. I've even considered homeschooling. But I know that my kids actually need to get out of the house and enjoy their independence that comes from going to school with their friends and doing things away from the watchful eyes of their parents.
My daughter, the last one at home, and I get along really well. Our days of summer this year were lazy, bonding, and soothing before she went back to high school. She helped me understand the Kardashians, learn to let of some body image issues I have over summer wear, and together we prepared for the day she'd go back to school for the last years she would be home.
I've been asked if I wanted to have another child, and without question I know the answer is no. We are at a good place in our lives and I really hate getting up in the middle of the night. But the idea that not too far from now we will actually be “Empty Nesters” does concern me.
This year as I sat on the couch trying to figure out what to do for the day, I realized that it won't be long before there won't be any extra laundry to do, nobody to enjoy watching reality TV with, and my routine getting children ready for school will almost be over. I've been getting kids ready for school and being an active mother for over half my life.
I know that I will have more time to explore some of the things I've put off. I'll probably finish the culinary classes I've been taking off and on, devote more time to blogging and writing, and maybe even take on some roles outside of the house. But for now, I am a little teary at the idea and checking the clock to see when the bus will come.