My older boys are starting kindergarten and first grade, and I have to admit - I’m kind of looking forward to having them home. (Thanks, virtual learning, courtesy of COVID-19.)
Before I explain myself, I’ll preface… the thought of mothering three boys (ages 7, 5, and 3), working from home, and having enough time to shower, fold the laundry and attempt to keep things tidy is a huge weight on my shoulders. I’ve done everything to prep a Pinterest-perfect at-home classroom, but the reality has yet to sink in that I’ll be the teacher. “Me time” is a total thing of the past, and I’m sure I’ll be crashing on the couch before 9pm (sorry, husband). BUT, with that being said… I’m excited. And here’s why.
Before all this corona crap, we were always on the move. I was always running late, rushing the boys to get out of the house in the morning. (Their school office knew me because I constantly signed them in tardy.) After school, it was a race to get to extracurricular activities, and then the night hustle began; dinner, shower, books and bed. Weekends were packed with plans- birthday parties, get togethers, running errands. Sure, I loved life then - it was busy and full of people. But clearly things have changed - life has had a major slowdown and it’s kind of put things in perspective.
Every school year I get a little sad knowing my boys are one year older, one grade higher, and less and less my little babies. But this year is sort of different. I’m being gifted extra time with my young kids- a chance I never thought possible; a chance to savor their childhood. Who would have ever thought our kids wouldn’t be returning to cliché school?! Time is something we’ll never get back, and now it seems we have all the time in the world.
I want to approach fall with a positive outlook, feeling lucky to have my boys by my side for a bonus amount of time. I want to teach them things they wouldn’t normally learn in the classroom - things I find important. Instead of PE, I want to bring them hiking. Instead of eating in the cafeteria, I want to picnic. Instead of music class, I want to teach them about the world’s greatest musicians. Sure, they’ll sign on Zoom and complete their math problems and reading logs, but that 5-year-old inside me who once loved playing school gets to play it for real life. And guess what? My kids are actually excited. They’re stoked for mom school. They’re also stoked to be in the company of one another - I tell my boys they’re the best friends they’ll ever have.
Sure, there goes Kinder- those first day jitters, hugging a new teacher, making new friends, school pictures, Halloween parades. Honestly, it does suck- but there's another side to the sucky story. My side. Our family's side. Our creative side of making the best of it. Teaching our kids to be flexible. Finding joy in waking up un-rushed. Morning dance parties. Field trips galore. Pajama Day, movie day- any frickin' day we want. I really think, one day, many of us will look back at this reflecting it was the best of times, and the slowest of times.
Yes, I know it will be hard. Yes, I know I’ll be up at the crack of dawn getting MY work done. Yes, I know it’s going to be a struggle, a juggle, stressful, crazy, and chaotic. But I also know this is something so special - a sacred opportunity. It’s an interesting thing, you know… all my kids want is my time- they want to color with me, play games with me, snuggle with me. One day they won’t. But for now, I have a lot more minutes in the day to give them, even if they’re being taken away from myself. And besides, what mom can’t figure it out? I tell my boys moms can do anything.
So yes, I'm excited. Us moms often say we want to press pause... well now we kind of can. We get them a little longer - and in a way, they'll be little a little longer, too. And for that, I'm grateful.