Next Stop: Kindergarten (and how to enjoy the ride)
Is it just me, or does anyone else hate buying back-to-school items? I’ve tried to get a little here and there, taking my 12-page list each time I head out to Target. We may have to look into donating our plasma (blood, not TV) this month in order to make ends meet in order to get all the “must haves” on our list.
School supplies aren’t the only reason I’m in a bad mood about school starting. First of all, after a few months of “chillin’ with my crew” I have to start studying again. This fall I’m taking a nutrition class, and I’m pretty sure they’re gonna get all up in my grill about how bad Little Debbie snack cakes are for the kids. Secondly, when the kids go back to school, it means winter is on her angry way, and displaying my cute feet will once again will have to take a back seat to staying warm. Thirdly, when my three children walk out the front door this year on their first day, my whole identity will forever be changed.
I’m about to transition from “mother of young children” to “mother of school-aged children.” I think my new title sounds so stupid and I hate it. It’s not that I want to go back to diapers and sleepless nights, but having three kids in school just seems so permanent and lonely. Sending my firstborn Jack was hard, but I still had two little ones to keep me busy, and during that season of life, I was lucky to remember to put on clean underwear on any given day. Then a few years later it was time to send Faith. That day was tough, because the second she was on school grounds, she didn’t look back. She was completely ready, focused, and happy to share her trendy fashionable ways with all the other little girls. This year is different though—it’s my baby, my last-born, my Will.
This is Will, the child we did not ever expect or plan, but who has been a complete fulfillment of promise. Will, when born was described to me by the nurse as, “Oh my! What huge ankles!” Will, who unlike my other two babies, never wanted me to put him down, and preferred being in my sore arms all day long.
Will, when he was two years old, as I kissed him goodnight and said, “I’m so proud of you Will.” He replied with, “I’m pwoud of you too, Mama.” Will, who can be so tender and sweet one minute, yet the next, can turn on you, and be quite the opposite. We’ve reminded Jack and Faith many times: To anger Will is much like poking a tiger with a stick. Will, who can impersonate Nacho Libre better than anyone I know….
Will knows he will go to Kindergarten in a few days. He’s seen his school supplies, and broke his pencil box before I even had the chance to write his name on it with a Sharpie. He knows his teacher and has promised her that he won’t drop out of kindergarten like he did preschool. He’s ready. He’s excited. He’s got new shoes.
We’re clinging to these last few weeks of summer with a tight grip. Just the other day we did a hike together, all five of us, up in Eldorado Canyon. There’s nothing better than spending a morning together on a hike, and this day was absolutely beautiful. When it was over, we all piled into the van and headed home. An unusual calm came over our family as we drove down the mountain. It was one of those rare moments in a car full of children. The song playing on the radio spoke of dreams, the scenery outside was breathtaking, and the children were quiet. Then Will spoke.
He said, “Know what I’m doing right now?”
“No Will, what are you doing?” we asked.
He replied, “Enjoying the ride.”
I think I might try and do the same.
Lisa Repenning hasn’t slept well in ten years. She hates her hair, but loves her three kids. Lisa recently decided to return to school for a Nursing degree and hopes to never climb Mt. Everest.