The days of the year always come about the same way. The seasons come at the same time each year and the cycle of life continues to turn. This year as Fall rolls around, things are a little different for our household. For the first time in his life, our son is attending school for a full day. The big First Grade is officially upon us. I knew this would come at some point, but the days of diapers and nursing still don’t seem so far away. The stinger of the matter is that I have been home with my son since he was born. Six years later (almost to the day) my little guy is taking his first real steps towards independence and I am a girl home alone.
I try to be very conscious about the life that is happening all around me at any moment. I don’t want to look back and think I should have listened more or should have kissed him more. Of course this means if I am not careful I can find myself crippled by the guilt of being a real human being. It is a fine tight rope I walk between being sane and crazy! That being said, I have been thinking about this First Grade moment for a year already.
Over the summer I did my best to focus on our son. He wanted to go to the Crayola Factory, we did it. He wanted to eat at the Indian buffet, we did it. We went to the beach, the movies, camping and baseball games. On our vacation, he was spoiled rotten by his grandparents and then we came home and he had a big birthday party with his friends. This was his summer.
For me, the highlight was the quiet moments though; the ones where we were just doing our thing. We kind of hid out from the world for a couple weeks before school started and I tried to take mental snapshots of every day moments. Since his birth he has been my constant daily companion through everything. The past two years he has gone to half day school (Pre-K and K) and that afforded me two and half hours of either some online work time or gym time…but this year will be different. This is the first step in his (hopefully) long academic career that will pinnacle with his leaving the nest to find out the world for himself.
September marks the start of full day school and it is the end of my son’s baby period. I had planned to be busy still with other babies who were still at home, but alas that turned out not to be an option for us. While we are still pursuing possibilities, for me this may be a true end. No more Sesame Street, Cheerio snack cups, and mid morning stroller walks. It is the end of a precious period in our lives with our son. It is not THE END though and that is an important thought I have to remind myself. My son is not done with me being his Mom. He is not ever going to be done with needing me in some fashion.
This is also a beginning. It is the beginning of me figuring out what to do with myself. When life changed our plans for family, it also changed my plans for the future. I didn’t want to give up being a stay at home mom for my son just because he didn’t have any siblings. So part of the reason I started Yonder Wild was to test the waters on the possibilities and to challenge myself and my future. There is also a mega list already started with items like “fix this” or “clean that,” so I’ll keep busy… but I am in no rush. I am consciously and gratefully soaking in the moment of what has been and what will be.
So here we are, summer is now over, as it was the year before and the year before that. There will always be a new school year to be had by someone and there will always be new faces in the crowd who have their own situations and challenges. It isn’t a new or unique story to tell. But this year, this Fall, surrounded by the 70 degree weather and fading foliage, this is my story. I am the September girl, joining the crowd, while standing on the precipice…now what?