Back to school means letting go

Alex kept summer lively with snakes, turtles and toads.

The house has fallen quiet…well, as quiet as it can be, considering I still have a two year old at home busy showing me that princesses really can fly from one sofa to the next without losing their tiaras.  The doorbell has stopped ringing at all times of the day. There are no more little boys eagerly waiting on my porch to show me the snakes, toads and turtles that they caught in the field by the pond near our house.  My teen-agers are no longer asking for rides, begging for money to go to the mall, or complaining that they are bored.

Summer is over.  My children are all happily adjusting to being back at school with their friends.  The only one, it seems, who is struggling through this change is me.

I always thought that sending my little ones off to Kindergarten would be the hardest thing for me as a mom.  I cried each time one of my children started school.  Now, though, instead of breaking out the champagne and dancing around the house, I spend my days worrying about whether they have someone to sit with in the lunchroom, or if they are doing well on the test that they studied so hard for.   I have discovered that each year gets a little more difficult for me as a mom.   It is hard to let go as they face the challenges inherent to growing up.

As our days find a new rhythm, I know that I, too, will adapt.  I will eventually embrace the quiet, and celebrate having a little more freedom to finally organize the linen closet and clean up the science experiment growing in the back of my fridge.  I will settle into a new routine, just in time for summer to arrive once again.

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Published in the St. Cloud Times Sept. 2008