Today was K’s first day of preschool. I think I had a harder time with this beginning than I did with M’s, mostly because even when he went to school, I still had K around. And this time, I really had to hold back my emotions, because K was absolutely thrilled to finally go to school, if only for a few hours, and I wasn’t about to spoil that.
I wanted to make this most of this momentous morning–the first few hours I’d had to myself during a regular week since, well, M was born five+ years ago. Though I did, not surprisingly, get a huge number of things done, I found it marked more by the things I didn’t do. I picked up books at the library but didn’t go into the kid’s section (I must confess, I did get books on kids’ holiday crafts. But in the adult section! And without having to clean up any pulled books from the floor!). I went to Starbucks and didn’t have to explain to anyone (M) why he couldn’t have his own Frappuchino. I shopped for makeup without having to re-sort a dozen eyeliner pencils. I bought wild bird food but didn’t see any of the animals in the pet store. I mowed the lawn, clean the showers, and started laundry without stopping once.
I also didn’t laugh. I didn’t sing any songs. In fact, I didn’t say much of anything, besides “hello” and “thank you.” I didn’t pretend to be a fire truck driver or doggy mom or dance instructor. I didn’t share anything, even that Frappuchino. I passed the park without playing, the park K and I always play at, and no, I didn’t make it through two measly hours without crying. Twice. It’s amazing to me that after five years–and being an introvert at heart–I have come to so completely rely on their pleasant company.
I’m sure I’ll get used to the schedule–I’m sure I’ll love it, in fact. It’ll give me a chance to get things done so that I’ll have time to more time to spend with M and K, and the missing-them emotion to make it all the more sweet when we get to spend it. But bittersweet, as the passage of time almost always is. Let’s just say I’m really glad that K asked for chocolate cake to celebrate her first day of school. She may deserve it, but today, I need it.