I love my children.
I love them with that unconditional, fierce, deep-down-to-the-soul kind of Mama love.
The kind that loves them so much, I will fight the world for them.
The kind that loves them so much, I will stand up for them, comfort them, cheer for them, encourage them, correct them, kiss them, and never forget to tell them how much I love them.
And the kind that loves them so much, I will joyfully send them back to school tomorrow.
I say that to you with a bit of trepidation...because of the way it sounds. I shared with a few friends last weekend that I really don't want to be the mom that rejoices when her kids go back to school. I've always loved school, and I love school for them, but I really wanted to have those feelings of at least a little bit of sadness at being apart from them all day long. You know, like I felt last year.
I feel it only fair to be honest with you, myself, and my children....
Mama needs a break!
All in all, this summer has been great. Although it seemed as though there was plenty on the schedule, it really was relaxed and playful and sunshiny. We had many good days. We had a couple big handfuls of great days. But oh boy. The not-so-good and downright horrible days that were sprinkled in there...just enough for me to really see how much value there is, for both the boys and myself, to spend quality time apart from each other.
Tomorrow, Drew begins first grade.
Next Monday, Reed begins his own exciting new adventure, heading off to preschool for the first time.
Drew is ready. He met his teacher, knows which friends from last year are in his class this year, and has seen his new classroom. He went to bed tonight with no negative words about having to go back to school, and he's especially excited for his little brother to begin school, too.
Reed seems ready, although we'll see how next Monday goes for him...and for me! As much as it's time for him to take off on this new adventure, I am sure his first day of school will very much resemble Drew's first day three years ago (maybe with a few less tears from him, but most likely with just as many from me! The significance of the occasion will get to me, no doubt...)
And, when I really sit down and feel beyond my own mixed up emotional jumble of relief and anxiety and joy and neediness... I am ready, too.
Ready to hug them goodbye as they go about their days.
And ready to hug them hello, with a plate full of warm chocolate chip cookies, when they return.