Starting back, but I’m not ready.

Image result for back to school blues

It’s coming….. end of summer, and Back to School. A time I mourn before it gets here, and mourn harder when it comes.

People think I’m weird for being sad to send my plethora of children back to school, but I hate it. For selfish reasons like not having to pack lunches all summer, or forcing children out of bed before seven in the morning each day. I hate how the clock starts ticking as soon as I make the drop off at school, and I have to make sure I get through my work day efficiently enough to make it back to school for pick up on time.

Everything feels like a rush, and too many things have to be jammed in the day.

Don’t get  me started on the fights about homework and dinner, and last minute stops to buy things needed right NOW for school the next day.

Cold weather, darkness, rain, ice, snow…… follow up to round out the crapfest that is the school year.

Hmmmmm. I might be a little pessimistic right now.

I think probably I’m moody because I’m dropping the oldest off at college again on Saturday. Tomorrow is my last day to spend with her, and part of it will be spent doing last minute shopping for things like pens, pencils, book bags, and water glasses to replace what I keep breaking. Not especially memorable, but necessary. Then she leaves, with only a messy room, and the shirts she steals from me as a reminder…..

And the youngest. Oh my god, how did I think she was ready for preschool??!  She starts in 6 days, and I feel the squeeze starting in my chest. I know she’s smart, and social, and so far seems to have no sign of separation anxiety from me…. but she’s never actually been away from the house, without me, for a whole day. I want to pull her out, forget it, we aren’t ready.

I’m not ready.

 

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Taco salad can predict the future

Taco-Salad

I want a taco salad.

I don’t want to make one, I want one from taco bell. I don’t eat these very often, but today I want one.

I resisted the urge all day, but tonight it’s calling to me from across the road as I stir this delicious dinner of vegetables with green curry. I’m not being sarcastic here, it’s really good.

But it’s not a taco salad and so is not going to satisfy me.

I couldn’t get one for myself.  I was rushing with the kids to get them home and in bed, having just brought soup to my own mom who isn’t feeling well. She told me not to come, but I knew she would eat the soup… ended up driving home later than I thought, and although I pass taco bell, I just couldn’t justify wasting the time for myself.

Running upstairs to get them to bed, see the oldest sitting on her bed, hasn’t gone out with her friends yet. PERFECT.

“Please, can you get me a taco salad?”

I get a stare.

“You don’t need a taco salad. I’m doing you a favor”

I throw out another please but don’t have time to grovel as I start the bed time ritual for the two little ones.

Soon after, I hear her leave the house. I begin to think along the lines of “wow, she’s really getting it for me…. awwww, she didn’t have to, that’s so nice.”

But time passes, and she doesn’t come back. I notice a text on my phone. It’s from her, she’s going out with her friends. I’ve lost hope.

After this revelation… a little passive aggressive texting back and forth, me trying to ensure she feels guilty and suddenly realizes how much she loves and appreciates me, and how much I DO FOR HER… her focusing more on the fact that I seem to be upset about a taco salad, and not the meaning BEHIND IT….

Because this obviously means that I will end up in “a home”. Alone. Discarded as soon as I am no longer useful.

Currently working on a way of avoiding this, while also ensuring all remaining children find it impossible to say no to me for any reason.

 

 

 

 

Gone.

We made it to the campus. Only cried once so far.

We made it to the campus, and found somewhere to park!  Only cried once so far.

Got a golf-cart ride to the dorm… and I sat with my sister for an hour, waiting for Rachel and her dad to get the ok to unload the car. Cried a few times, once heavily.

Oh...she's embarrassed!!! YES.

Oh…she’s embarrassed!!! YES.

It was a strange feeling for me. Watching these kids, and the amounts of energy they put forth. You could FEEL the opportunity, the fun, the excitement…. I got caught up in the rush myself, wishing I’d had the chance to experience this when I was her age. So grateful that she is here, part of this…. and yet I’m still terrified to leave her here.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

First steps into the room.

First steps into the room.

My sunglasses were kept on as we navigated the stairs and halls, and I managed to smile during my silent sobbing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

We unpacked, kind of. Bunked the beds, it took all 4 of us. Later found out maintenance could have done it for us…. something to remember for next time. Decided to get some lunch while her roommate was on her way to the room with her own family. Saying goodbye was not yet imminent, so I was actually hungry…. enjoying the last hours with her.

After eating, a trip to the bookstore, and a trip to Target….all within walking distance of her dorm… we headed back.

Now is the hard(est) part.

Saying goodbye.

I’m crying right now, thinking about it. It still feels so weird that she’s THERE…. for so LONG…… Ugh.

Her pushing me out the door.

Her pushing me out the door.

No, she didn’t really push me out the door. She was gracious, telling me I could stay as long as I wanted. But I knew I needed to let her get to it. I knew I needed to go…. but it was hard. Actually harder than I expected. Because it was finally real. My eyes are still puffy. Sunglasses back on, but they kept fogging up as I needed just one more hug, and then just one more hug again…..

We texted as I walked to the car with my sister.

We talked on the phone that first evening-last night. and texted goodnights.

I had a horrible sleep.

She texted this morning that she was still alive. And later, as late as I could possibly stand to wait… I got to see her face again.

Aaaaahhhhh, facetime. How I love it.

One day at a time………

9 LAST days and counting

us

Oooohhhh…… she’s leaving me. In 9 days, she will be gone.

I’ve reached the point of “lasts”…. Yesterday was “probably” our last walk up to Mitchell’s for ice cream. I tried to immortalize the moment.

gone

She wasn’t having it.

Every moment is a new last moment, before she goes. It’s hitting me pretty hard, I fear it gets worse. I’m doing all sorts of weird things to remember EVERY MOMENT before she leaves.

our shadows. After our LAST walk for ice cream.

our shadows. After our LAST walk for ice cream.

I took her and one of her good friends to lunch today, a goodbye lunch. our LAST lunch at Vieng’s Asian Bistro. I’m trying to remember everything. Every last precious minute.

Is this strange? Do I not realize that she will still be allowed to contact me, to come home when she wants? Of course I know this, but I also know it will never be the SAME. Her first visits home I think will be a relief, she will miss us. I’m 99% sure of this. But as she settles in, and she starts to get used to living away….. her trips home may feel stifling. Right? I think that’s how it works. She won’t feel like the same person, for her going back to school will be “home”, when she’s done with her visit here. She will be relieved to get back to her life.

She will transform, without my help or influence.

It’s a painful, exciting, scary, beautiful thing.