When I told The Who’s teacher (via text) that I had just burst into tears over the thought of his upcoming last day of school, she called me “THAT MAMA.” I knew just what she meant. That mama who can’t stand the thought of her baby growing up. That mama who cries harder at her baby’s first immunization than the baby himself. That mama who walks away from the bus stop after her kid climbs on for the first time and just can’t hold it together.
What’s funny is that I have never been that mama. I might have shed a tear at his immunizations, sure, but anyone who knows me or has been following my Facebook knows that since the day The Who was born, I’ve been endlessly chasing that elusive “break.” Some sleep. Time alone. Time with grownups.
This is why it seems crazy to me that all of a sudden, as I’m preparing to spend the summer working every day and sending him to camp every day, I keep tearing up over the thought of all the time we’re going to be apart and all the so-called “breaks” I will be having from him. Breaks from his sweet little smile. From our spontaneous day trips. From watching him learn to read and ride his bike and masterfully draw pictures.
I know. I know I’ll still see all this. I know that it’s not like I’m sending him to boarding school. He’ll be a mere building away from me most days since he will be attending the camp where I’m working. We’ll commute together and I’ll visit him from time to time during the day and we’ll spend weekends together. But something is changing. It is a monumental shift. As much as I have grown to treasure those days when he is in school, I treasure equally the days we have together. Mondays and Wednesdays are our special “Mama/Who” days and even though they are often hard and often long and often frustrating, they are just as often wonderful.
Tomorrow is The Who’s last day of Pre-K-1. Lucky for all of us, he has another year in the same class with the same wonderful teacher and so tomorrow is more of a “see ya” than a “goodbye.” Still, bringing home his nap blankets and pulling the photo off his cubby for the summer gave me pause. Goodbyes are hard, even when they’re temporary. Transitions are hard, even when they’re planned and prepared for. Time apart is hard, even when it’s desired.
Next week, we start something new. A change in a routine that’s been the same for over three and a half years. And I’m sad.