As of next week, I will have two children in elementary school. That is ALL OF MY CHILDREN. As in, THERE WILL BE NO CHILDREN AT MY HOUSE ALL DAY.
Part of me (okay, a LOT of me) is just trying to keep my excitement at a civilized level.
Another part of me is simply stunned at how quickly we’ve reached this season. And if I linger too long over it, my heart feels that familiar squeeze all over again.
Here’s what I wrote the first time around, with Owen. (It all seemed a bit more intense with him. He’s my first. So, I guess that makes sense.)
But she’s my last. I’m finding that brings an ache of its own.
Originally published on August 18, 2014.
I cried the Ugly Cry today.
My firstborn, my baby boy, that sweet boy who made me a mama, that bundle of life who waited so long and then came so fast I hardly knew what hit me…
He starts school in one week.
One week from today, I will drive him to a sweet old elementary school and entrust him to the care of an exceptional staff for SEVEN HOURS. And I will do this FIVE DAYS A WEEK.
He will be just three miles away. He will have the time of his life.
And I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest.
I remember the first night I laid that baby boy to sleep in his crib in his own room. He was three steps away. But he was SO SMALL. And that crib seemed SO BIG.
Post-partum hormones crashed like a wave, and I hiccup-sobbed to my mom, “I just LOVE. HIM… SO… MUCH…”
She held me close (stifling a giggle at my snotty-hiccuppy-Ugly-Cry) and said, “And now you know.”
She pulled back so she could look in my eyes and said with all the fervor in her heart, “I still feel that way about you.”
“WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” I cry to Heaven, now over six years later.
And I don’t mean sending my child to school. I mean BECOMING A MOTHER.
God, how do our hearts survive this?
The cry gets uglier as I picture my aunt sending her twin boys to COLLEGE over the weekend. It seems just yesterday that THEY were babies.
In twelve years, I’ll be doing the same thing. In twelve short years, we’ll help this boy, this precious boy who laid so small in a great big crib, move into a dorm and then out in the world, and he just seems so little, and the world is just so big, and GOD, MY HEART CANNOT BEAR THIS.
Maybe next year I’ll be the mom at the end of the summer saying, “Please! Teachers! Take him back! I’m dying here!”
But this is not that year. This year, our first year sending our son to school, I hold him close. I marvel at how he’s grown, how tall he is, how funny, how altogether incredible to me.
And I marvel still more that of all the little boys in all of time, this boy calls me Mom.
My mom was right. Now I know. Oh, how I know. This ache. This blessed ache of a mother’s heart… It started with you, son. You’ve ruined me. In the most sacred of ways, you’ve ruined me.
And God, You have the audacity to say you love this child EVEN MORE THAN I DO? That claim would really piss me off, except that I know it’s true. Oh thank You, Jesus, it’s true.
Fresh tears roll as He draws me near, whispering with all the fervor in His heart:
“And now you know…
I feel that way about you.”
**Hey, mama! Are you feeling a lot more “WOOHOO!!” than “Boohoo” about your kid going to school? Do you want to vomit if one more person tells you to savor every moment? Then, you probably want to read this OTHER post I wrote. 😉