I hate to sound cliché, but I don't know where the time goes. It seems to just slip right through my fingers. I blink and a week has passed. I turn my back and a month is gone. I go to bed, and when I wake up, three years are missing and my baby is starting preschool.
I don't want to sound like it was all weepy eyes and crying. Since I first became a mother eight years ago, my youngest starting school also marks the first time in eight years I will have time to myself.
That's a lot of years of having somebody stand outside the shower curtain on the days you attempt to wash the strained carrots out of your hair.
I don't know why I feel guilty about this bit of freedom I will get three days a week. It is true that moms are usually their own worst enemies. No matter how much we do for our kids, we can always make ourselves feel like there is more we should be doing.
The hard reality is that a lot of the time, the most important thing we can do for our kids is to do nothing. We need to just sit back and let them do their thing. It can be so hard to let our kids grow up, but we aren't doing them any favors by hovering and sheltering them from living their own lives.
Both of my girls recently learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. The first several times my husband and I ran alongside them, holding onto the seats and correcting them when they started to veer off course.
Eventually, though, we had to step back and let them try for themselves. We had told them what to do. They had helmets on. We had given them all the tools we could to help them succeed and be safe.
It was scary watching them wobble and sometimes even fall. Without us holding them up, though, they had to figure it out. Now they cruise up and down the street like they are old pros at this.
Such is life.
Now, for two and a half hours, three days a week I get to go back to just being me. I am joining a gym and am hoping to get back into shape. Maybe I will even find time to get my articles in by their deadlines.
I like to believe all the time I've devoted to being “Mom” has prepared them for more than starting preschool or riding a bike. I sometimes just look at my four amazing children and am in awe of them. They are all growing into such neat people with their own personalities and quirks.
To think that I have gotten to play a part in them being who they are is extremely humbling.
There are two songs I sing to my youngest every day when I lay him down. The first is “Puff the Magic Dragon.” The other is Carole King's “Child of Mine.” Both songs talk about kids growing up, but the line that always gets me from those two comes from the wonderful Miss King.
“You don't need directions; you know which way to go. And I don't want to hold you back; I just want to watch you grow.”
I have to say—so far the show my kids have given has been amazing!