Home Alone

9 Aug

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I am on the cusp of something new. Something different. And frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about it! In just a few days, my children will be going back to school. Now, this is normal. X Girl has been in school since ’06. I am used to back to school day. I make X Girl and X Boy a scrumptious, homemade breakfast (what are you laughing at! I really do!), have their backpacks packed and waiting in the mudroom with care. Lil’ E and I walk them to the bus stop, give hugs, kisses and well wishes for the first day of a new, great school year and wave to them as the bus pulls away and keep waving until it’s a tiny spec of yellow…

And then I dance the jig.

That’s right. I dance the jig. They are gone! I have a whole, glorious day to myself and Lil’ E, five days a week! There is no fighting. There is no, “Mom! X Boy was in my room!” or “Mom! X Girl hit me and told me she’s going to stab me!” or the pushing or yelling or screaming or crying. NOTHING! It’s wonderful!

Of course I love my children. But they just need to be gone for a few hours! I have always enjoyed the extra time with the little one at home. It’s my special time with that little one and each of my children have gotten that special time during the day with Mommy. And that’s how it’s always been.

However, this year will be different. In GA, where I live, the state has a wonderful Pre-K program for 4 yr. olds. For free. Universal Pre-K. Every 4 yr old is eligible. And it is all day, six and a half hours a day, five days a week. So let’s do the math, shall we? X Girl will be gone all day at middle school. X Boy will be gone all day at elementary school. Lil’ E will be gone all day at Pre-K. I will be left home with…no one. That’s right. For the first time since I became a mother, I will not have a child at home for most of the day to care for. 12 years. That’s how long I have been a mother with a baby at home. When X Girl started Kindergarten, I had X Boy at home. When X Boy started Kindergarten, I had Lil’ E at home. Now I have no one.

I know what you guys are thinking…”And this is bad…why?”

I’m not sure how to feel about this. On one had, I am excited. For three years, I have been taking classes on a part-time basis. I can throw my whole weight into it now, really buckle down and finish this blessed degree sometime before my death. I can have lunch with a friend without taking crackers, crayons and books with me. I can go grocery shopping without hearing 50,000 times “Mommy can I get this?”. I can turn Pandora up as loud as I want while picking up without worrying if the music will wake the napping babe upstairs. I can go to the mall stroller free. I can take a shower without an audience. I can go all day without hearing that mouse say “Wanna come inside my clubhouse?”. I can go for a walk with friends. I can wander around a bookstore for as long as I want. I can wander around IKEA as long as I want. The possibilities are endless! But even now, as I sit here writing this list of all I will be free to do, it is done with a heavy heart.

I feel like the job I have held for 12 years is over. Of course, I am still a mother. Of course I still have years of values and virtues to entrust to these little souls. But, one of the biggest parts of my job is over. I have been a full-time stay at home mommy for years. I even had initials; SAHM. But when you don’t have children at home to take care of, where does that leave you? Where does it leave me?

I am in mourning. As crazy as my children have made me, I have loved every second with them. Each one of them. And now, as I sit here writing this, I am filled with regrets. Did I spend enough time with each of them? Did we play enough? Did I take advantage of every innocent moment I could? I know I have done a fine job, but the “Did I’s” and “What if’s” always seem to creep up.

This obviously is a testament to life. How we are constantly changing, growing, evolving. When one door closes, another opens. A huge part of my life, of who I am, is over. I am left with trying to figure out the next step.

Will I dance the jig at the bus stop this year? I doubt it. I think I will be a bit too emotional as I walk into an empty house. But I’m not too worried. I’ll get my dancing shoes back on in no time.

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