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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Counting Down the Days



In our household, school starts back this Friday.  And while I'll be doing the happy dance that the kids will be out of my hair (please, every mother thinks this), I will be Very Sad.



My oldest starts third grade and my baby, MY BABY starts Kindergarten a week later.  *sobs* Where has time gone? It seems like just last week that they were taking first steps and speaking their first words (and now all we want them to do is BE QUIET).  It's all happening way too fast for me, but not for them.

Oh no. They've been counting down the days until glue sticks and scissors. Until they make new friends and hug old ones. Until I get told 65 times a day that their teacher says and does things the best way ever. They're counting down days until graduation, college and careers (maybe getting married but the opposite sex has cooties in my house) while I'm trying to hold on to chubby, sticky hands and mispronunciations of words like forget and theater (get-for and movie-ater).

While I'll be holding back tears, my two babies will be running to their new classroom and hugging the new woman in their life that will teach them what they need to know. Not me.  I have equal parts of hate and love for this woman, born of jealousy and awe.


So think of me and all the other moms and dads that will be going through this very, very soon. Send us prayers, happy thoughts and bottles of wine. Remind us that this isn't just the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one.

What have you done to get through a very bittersweet moment like this? 



36 comments:

  1. I have not experienced the bittersweet moment of sending my offspring off to school for myself...but I was there with my dad the day my older sister (the first of my siblings) went to her first day of school.

    Dad was not supposed to be the one to take her to school. Mom was. But Mom was in the hospital, having just given birth to my younger brother, so Dad and I got take-Jenny-to-school duty.

    Jenny was excited. She couldn't wait to start her new adventure, and she had all of her school supplies ready to go, still in their boxes and bags, fully sealed. Dad and I took her into her classroom, and Dad started crying. Then Jenny had to open her brand new, still sealed box of tissues to give to Dad, because he was blubbering like an idiot.

    When he finally composed himself enough that we could say goodbye and wish her well on her first day of school, Dad and I went back out to the car. He got me buckled in, buckled himself, and then sat there behind the steering wheel while a fresh wave of tears overcame him. He cried. And cried. And cried some more.

    As a not-quite-four-year-old, I was terrified. I had never seen my Daddy cry before. I was used to being the one to cry. I didn't know what to do, so I cried, as well.

    Before long, other mommies and daddies were making their way out to their cars after dropping their kids off at the first day of school, and they would stop by our car to see if they could do anything to help. Clearly, we looked a little odd--a man and a little girl, crying uncontrollably. Dad just waved them on their way, and kept crying.

    I have no idea how long it went on. I just remember being very confused about Daddy crying like he was the toddler, not me.

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    1. Omgosh, Catherine. Just reading this is making me cry like a baby. And you poor thing, not having a clue as to what what going on. :(

      Hot Builder teared up big time for the oldest first day of Kindergarten but she's also a Big Daddy's Girl!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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    2. Does your dad know you tell this story? :)

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    3. Oh! I wonder if he does,too. Catherine, did you get permission to tell this? ;)

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    4. He's told this story to more people than I can count. I think I'm safe telling it. :)

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    5. Why are telling all my business Marquita :) ! Love Your husband.

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    6. At least she's telling things that make us all love you. :)

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  2. Oh, Marquita! I cannot believe that my baby is going to be a freshman in high school this fall. HIGH SCHOOL! I'm too freakin' young to have a high schooler, right? I will cry like a baby on his first day of school. The middle school years flew by, and I have to expect high school will go by just as quickly. And then I'll be all alone, huddled in a corner rocking myself to sleep. ;)

    Well, maybe. We'l see.

    I never get through bittersweet moments. I revel in them. I feel every second of pain and anxiety, because even those moments are to be cherished.

    I've always been a bit maudlin, I suppose. I remember my last day of high school... "This is the last time I'm going to my locker... This is the last time I'm folding my gym shorts... This is the last time I'll sit on this bench." I try to soak up every moment so I can recall it later. I'm strange, I know.

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    1. Yes you are, Ava! You are waaaaay too young to have a high schooler.

      Hmmm, I don't think you will be alone. And I know you'll have all of us. ;D

      Not strange. That's pretty cool. I couldn't WAIT to get out of high school. College, however, I didn't want to leave. LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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    2. I'm a bit like you, Ava. I can't always celebrate the painful moments, but I don't always want to forget them, either.

      And I hope you know by now that You Will Never Be Alone Again!

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    3. Aww, Deb! You made me tear up. :) You are such a wonderful friend and I really appreciate the sentiment.

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  3. I know what should help you get through, Marquita--the knowledge that you have raised happy, eager, ready-to-embrace-life kids! Talk about a major accomplishment! Go, you!

    And while they may love their teachers now, and recall them fondly later, she will never hold a candle to what you mean to them.

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    1. Thank you Deb! I will save your comment and re-read it several hundred times the day my baby starts Kindergarten. :}

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  4. Oh my gosh, I can't deal with this. My baby's so new (not even 6 months and happily sucking his bottle while I type with one hand) and he's already growing. Never will he be this small again. His eyes won't be this light again. I can go on and on and on and you're telling me it gets WORSE??

    I can't. You can and that's great. But me and my little man have a deal. That apparently involves him drooling on my arm...

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    1. Bless your heart, Sallie! I think I might be scaring you. Sorry about that.

      Yeah, I had lots of deals with my baby girl and baby boy. Neither have kept up their end...

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

      PS Congrats your new baby! :))

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    2. Sallie ~ My precious nephew just turned 7. I only get to see him once a year, and each time I remind him that he is not supposed to grow when I'm not around to see it. Last time he told me, "I can't help it, Aunt Ava! It just happens."

      Enjoy your little boy. They are so precious, so sweet at that age. Even though my son is years past that stage, I do still have all the memories of those days.

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    3. Sallie,
      I have enjoyed every age with my kids so far, and you will too with your son. It's so fun to see them learning, growing, and developing their personalities. Sometimes I miss the baby days of snuggling, but then my teenage son will give me a big hug or want to share something funny that happened at school, and my daughter will talk me into going for manis and pedis. Then I realize I love these grown up versions just as much as I loved them as babies. I'm eager to see what they are going to do next. :)

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  5. Hi Marquita, As a mom that is about to send her baby to college and she will be 3 hours away I will be sobbing right along with you. I suspect you will be at the bus stop or school 30 minutes early on the first day and I will probably be planning my trip to visit my daughter next the second we drop her off at her dorm. We've bought all the dorm stuff needed and with each purchase it is becoming more cemented in my mind that she is grown up and independent and moving away. Not sure what I will do. Of all my children she is the one who talks the most and we talk and talk and talk and then shop too. We don't necessarily buy anything but we go shopping. I'm not sure though what I'm going to do without all that "talking" and "shopping".
    So anyway here is some advice - schedule a lunch with a friend that first day of school to take your mind off of it and plan at least 2 more things to do that day. Hopefully fun things. It will get easier...well until you send them off to highschool or watch them drive away on their own for the first time or have their first boyfriend/girlfriend, their first heartache, move away to college...oops sorry I was saying it gets easier...I think I lied...

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    1. Just goes to show that it NEVER get easier, Marcia. Ugh, I will have to make plans for that day. Thanks for the advice and good luck to you as your baby matriculates.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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  6. So, this is Marquitas husband and I thought I should let you know how I am going to to help her through the first day of school with our son. We will take him to school together and then I will kiss the wife and then fly on a plane within the hour to my brothers wedding. Some loving and comforting husband I am. Don't be to hard on me and soft on Marquita. I am usually the one with shiny eyes holding back the tears and Marquita has shut the teachers door so the kids can't come back out :)! Love you sweetie.

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    1. I'm really considering changing the dedication in Twice Tempted. Seriously. It can be done, you know.

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  7. i'll be thinking about you quita. i have one more year and i DREAD it. great post!

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    1. Thanks, Analee. I'll need all the good thoughts I can get.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I found the perfect solution (or two) for the "School Day Blues!" when my sons were young. My older son actually started pre-school in January after he turned 3 in December, 1975 and my younger son started 2 months after he turned 3 in 1977.

    The first day of school was hard - on me! Both of them did exactly the same thing on their first day of pre-school. They walked up, opened the door, took off their jacket, hung it up and then turned to me and said: MOM, HAVEN'T YOU LEFT YET! and when I went to pick them up looked at me and said "BUT I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME!".

    Even as teenagers I never had a problem of them wanting to go to school - and every year I think I cried, at least a little bit!

    SOLUTION! Volunteer at your children's schools. This is particularly effective if you have sons. Consider it revenge for all the times they embarrassed you - turn-around is fair play! Volunteer to be their scout leader (this works well with girls and boys). Invite their friends over to play and let said friends know that the first time they're a guest and from then on they're part of the family and will be given chores to do. This is particular helpful to keep eaten out of house and home by teenager boys who come for dinner several times a week - at least you get your grass mowed!


    GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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    1. You sound much like my mom, Jeanne. She was the "room Mom" in elementary school many times, Camp Fire leader, Cub Scout leader, Band Mom...you name it. She was there. I'm sure it helped ease her heartache, since she was able to be so involved. She was the one that everyone at school just called "Mom," not "Mrs. Gayle."

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    2. Great advice, Jeanne. When my schedule (and my youngest) allowed for me to volunteer for field trips and the like, I loved doing it-even if it did remind me of my days of teaching. I still treat kids like they're my students. Old habits, I guess. ;) Now they will both be in elementary school, I'll be able to volunteer more often. :D

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing. :)

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    3. Catherine -

      Tell your Mom to give me a call (or an email) and we can talk about how cute our grandchildren are! I have two grand-daughters and 3 grandsons!

      PS: They're much easier than children because we can spoil them and send them home!

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  9. My oldest will be going into high school this year and I am so upset over it. His first day of school I was so happy for him, he was so smart and was ready to start learning. But this high school business is bothering me much more than anything has so far, my babies are growing up and all I can think is that I have only a few years left and they'll be out making their own lives and I will having nothing to do!

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    1. Bless your heart, Rhi!!! And thanks for solidifying what I suspected: It never gets any easier. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. My youngest decided four months ago that he was bored with high school and wanted to graduate early, like his big sister did. So instead of starting his senior year and having one more year at home... he's graduating next month and leaving two weeks later for college! (Luckily right down the road, but still. He's moving OUT. Cue Empty Nest... a YEAR early!) I remember his first day of kindergarten. I did so well... until some point during the day when I was driving, and I started to talk to him. And then I realized he wasn't buckled in behind me - he was at school. OMG TEARS. :( We can do this, Marquita. Be brave!

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    1. OMGosh, Tammara! I must send you virtual hugs right now. Maybe even let you wear my Colin Firth touched shirt. I don't know about you, but when my kids aren't with me, I feel like I'm missing something or have forgotten something at home. :{

      WE SHALL BE BRAVE! TOGETHER!!! *cue beaty chest moment*

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  11. My husband started teaching me from the time our sons were born to "start letting go".

    We raised them telling that if we did our job of raising them the right way when they graduated they'd want to open the door and leave - to live the life that we helped prepare them for to be strong, independent and able to find their own place in the world.

    PS: As a grandmother I've find it's much harder saying goodbye to grandchildren than sons.

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