Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bring on the empty nest!

For the past few days I've been reading a lot of blogs and tweets full of sad moms shipping off their little ones to school. I must be a selfish, cold hearted bitch. I was thinking to myself I the ONLY mom in the world that is happy to ship my clan off to be cared for, entertained, and educated by another human being? Seriously? I have been anticipating the day that I could spend the entire day all to myself in silence to do whatever the hell I want to do ALL BY MYSELF for several years now. The idea of being able to keep my house clean for more than 12 hours at a time is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I could spend my days sitting in the bookstore or library and reading. I could sit in a Starbucks with my laptop and a cup of coffee and be all cool and shit. Maybe I'll take piano lessons. Maybe I'll take some photography courses. And grocery shopping all. by. my. self? think I just had a little "O"!!!!

So, while the rest of the women in blog land have been writing about their empty nest sorrows I sat at my computer with a huge Cheshire grin on my face fantasizing about how I'd spend my first day without children. It's like taking out a whole new lease on life. I've had my to-do list prepared for 3 weeks folks. I've been one happy woman anticipating this day. It's been 12 years people. 12 years.

So yesterday was a half day. I stood at the bus stop with my kids and 8 other mothers and saw my boys off to school with a smile on my face. The bus drove off and I jumped up and clicked my heals together in a joyous celebration....2 down one to go. I took my daughter to her class and met her teacher. And then came home after an hour and a half WITH my daughter. So the 1st day of school really WASN'T the 1st day of school in my book.

Before bed last night my daughter picked out her outfit for today and carefully placed them on her dresser.

Mumma, do these shoes match? She asked.


K. I'm gonna wear these tomorrow. She then carefully unfolded a pair of socks, tucked a sock into each shoe, and placed the shoes next to the outfit.

Smurfette jumped out of bed this morning and got dressed, ate breakfast, and had her hair and teeth brushed in 15 minutes flat.

Is it time to leave yet, mumma?

How much longer, mumma?

Can we just leave now and wait in the car, mumma?

Today is gonna be a good day mumma. A whole day with no mumma. (grinning from ear to ear).

Smurfette is not attending the same school as the boys. We chose a different school so she could attend a full day kindergarten (our home school does not offer full day). There were no familiar faces. No friends for either of us. We waited in line outside the classroom and all the while I was anticipating my first day by myself.

Hmmmm.....what will I do first?

I was chatting with Smurfette about her day.

Don't forget your snack is in your lunch box.

I'll be right outside those doors when it's time to go.

If you get separated from your class and don't know where to go just go to the office and tell them you're lost.

If you don't hear the teacher call you in from recess go around to the front doors because the other doors are locked from the outside.

Make sure you eat your lunch or you'll be hungry.

The more I talked the more nervous I made MYSELF. My daughter was fine. Cool as a cucumber. And out of NOwhere I felt the tears coming.

Don't cry

Don't cry

Don't cry

For cry'n out loud you've been looking forward to this day for the past year and you've been through this twice know the drill....


Mumma, why does it look like you're crying?


Oh, I'm fine honey. Just a little sad. I'll miss you today.

Oh mumma, don't be sad, you can come pick me up in a little while.

And the tears just started flow'n.

So there you have it. Bitter-sweet.

When I went back this afternoon to pick her up she was looking very intently at my face. After several seconds she says "Mumma, did you cry all day?"

"No, honey, I didn't. I was fine."

" you forgot about me?"

"Nope, I thought about you all day. I was wondering all day how your first day of school was going and how you were doing."

"I was fine mumma."

So for my first day of school....I went running, and then came home and showered, and then caught up on some blog reading, and then I measured my kitchen walls, and then I went to the tile store and bought tile and supplies for my kitchen back-splash project, and then I came home and started (and finished) tearing down the wall paper.

What did YOU do for your first day of school?


Anonymous said...

I have been LOVING both of my kids being at school. I don't feel guilty in the least. I mean, it's not like I'm sitting on my ass all day. I still have chores and errands to do. I just do them without an audience.

Congratulations on making it through your first day!

Leslie said...

I'm still feeling a bit unsettled. My issues are mostly about the language barrier. But if I was in the states..... we'd have a whole different story. I'd be doing some drop-kicking myself!!! Glad to hear about your day. Bitter sweet for sure!

April said...

Ummm...worked. And worried that the girls wouldn't make it to their after-school program.

Kelly said...

Praise Jesus!!!! the kids went back to school!!!!!! All I did was go to the doctor and to Target. Oh and watched a lame ass movie on Lifetime. Well lets see, I have one brand new one at home that is the sweetest thing in the whole world. Seriously perfect so far. Didn't get up till 4 this morning. I have a feeling this will be my spoiled one that will make me cry when he goes off to school.

Kelly said...

Oh you know what you need to do today!!! Did you get the 30% off coupon for Little Scrapbox in your email. That is what I'm doing at 10:00 (with no older kids cuz their butts will be at school) 30% off the whole order with coupon baby!!!!!!!!!! Sale goes all weekend!

Tracey said...

Gosh by the end of the one will recongnize your house at all...It will fine for the kids and fun for you! It's new adventure for everyong! Enjoy!

Colleen said...

I'd be right there with ya - on both the looking forward to them both being in school, the time to myself AND finding myself in tears as I dropped the youngest one off for his first day.

We didn't technically HAVE a first day this year - the oldest is still too young for 4K (he's got a Nov bday). And I did bupkis - but hubby? I had to laugh at your "O" comment. He's replacing the windows on our 3-seasons porch. I laughed yesterday morning when he saw online that they were in at the hardware store. I told him to wait for me to make noises like that! ;o) Then, when I got home from work, it was my turn. Even WITH two kids at home for the day, he got THREE of them installed. They look AWESOME. I think I owe that man...uh...a cold beer. Yeah, that's it...

common mom said...

I LOVE it when school starts . . . summer camp is great and everything, but there's something comforting to a (possibly a little bit OCD on the organization scale) mom like me about having an actual routine. Not just a schedule, but a routine.

The first day of school? We took Dude to the bus stop, then Princess and I walked back home and finished getting her ready for school. I dropped her off at school (we, too, chose a diff. school for her for kindergarten), and headed to work . . . a whole half hour earlier than normal - VERY exciting. Seriously! Why? Because for every minute I get to work early, I get to have that much time at lunch. AND, now that Dude is older and can be home a little while alone after school (shhhh, don't tell), and Princess can be at school later (after care is included until 6:00 p.m.!) I don't have to rush out of work. Instead, I mosied out of work, ran a couple errands, went to the gym, and THEN went home.

I. Loved. IT! I'm already looking forward to next year when Princess gets on and off the bus with Dude and I have an even less stressful time :-)

So no, you're not alone. I always look forward to time by myself . . . but of course you think about the kids every day all day while enjoying your time :-)

(sorry for the post-like comment!)

Bahama Mama said...

You deserve every minute of freedom after 12 years of three :-) I'm the crier in my family too! Em never cries. I spent her first day worrying she would like her teacher. School didn't last very long. She already has two "Bahamian Snow Days" for the Hurricanes on their way.

Brooke said...

Oh man I hear ya!! While it is always a little sad to send them off to their first day, I am so happy that I finally get some time to do things by myself. Even if its only for a couple hours! Its been 9 years for me, not as long as you, but I am giddy!

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Ok, so I'm one of those sad mommies you've been reading. But here we are on Day 3 of first grade and I'm fine. I've discovered that they day flies by and before you know it, it's time to pick him up. He's loving school, making friends, and is doing great which goes a long way towards soothing my sad heart.

Little sister and I are enjoying our time together and will continue to do so. But that doesn't mean I probably still won't cry every year!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for you (I'm more than slightly jealous. I have one more year before I have a couple hours to myself.) Change, even when it's good, can be hard.

Kori said...

Bah. No tears here. Plus I am already counting the years until the baby starts. Three, in case you are wondering. It doesn't change my daily routine any, as I work, but I have my lunch hour to myself again-which is HEAVEN.

Mama Zen said...

I was a sad mommy. But, ha ha, I'm getting over it!

Christy said...

This is the SWEETEST back-to-school story I have read so far.

Dana said...

there is nothing wrong with enjoying your freedom between the hours of 9 and 3.. enjoy it!! Your children are happy and well cared for at school!

Gretchen said...

I would rather homeschool my children. Did it until I became too ill to give the attention they deserve.

What did I do the first day? Hmmm ... took first day of school photos for the newspaper, wrote a feature I've put off almost a month, then when they got home, ran to the next town to take another photo for the paper.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

My daughter had her first day of school this past week. I was a bit misty eyed, but she loved it.