Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why I don't cry on the first day of school

Our school was the last in the area to begin school this year. Part of me felt like the the last week of summer lasted FOREVER and I wondered if I was going to survive (I might still not, pre-k doesn't start for another week). But part of me got all super nostalgic and I wanted to cram in everything we didn't do over the summer into four days. I resisted. I realized we'd done enough and my children's summer memories were already made.

One other thing I noticed this year was the amount of tears from Mamas all over the country as their precious babes returned to the hallowed halls of school buildings all over. Granted these are Facebook and Instagram tears, so the figures may be skewed. I thought about the motivation behind these tears. Was it tears of regret, time passing too quickly, sheer happiness of a returned schedule? I hugged a crying mama at the bus stop this morning sending off our first graders (I know this mama, she's not just a stranger at the bus stop) but also felt a little guilty, I have no tears. I kinda just want to do a little happy dance!

It's the first day of school! There's new pencils and notebooks and new teachers and friends. There's the smell of new books! There's the joy of making it to another mile marker in the road of life without any trips to the emergency room and so many memories were made!

I decided that me not crying showed a couple of things about me.

One. I love school! I love that my overly social and extroverted little kids can have 7 hours of asking someone else questions. I find a huge value in our public school system and choose to show my kids that school and education and all the things that entails are something to be excited about and hunger for instead of sad about. Being a teacher at heart, I still get excited when the school supplies show up in the Target aisles and still have dreams (sometimes nightmares) about being in the classroom.

Two. I'm not overly sentimental. About my kids anyway. I get super sentimental about old movies, and babies, and smells that remind me of something. But not my kids. I love them with a fierce and enduring kind of love, but their baby scrapbooks may never be finished. 

Three. I value the time I have with my kids so much more when we have time apart and I love them having their own little experiences and interests. I'm the kind that needs to miss something a little to value it all the more. I love hearing their little stories and watching my little people become big people in this world.

Now comes all my disclaimers. Crying on your kids first day of school is not terrible, horrible, or make you a bad mama. :) Also, I haven't cried yet, but I'm leaving myself the grace to change my opinion at any time.... isn't that what being a mama and doing all this parenting stuff is all about?

All that being said, here's the obligatory first day of school picture. It was promptly followed by a sprint to the bus stop because the bus was FIVE minutes EARLY on the first day. Seriously. FIVE.

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