This past week, my Facebook newsfeed has been full of amazing, wonderful back to school photos. Many of my good friends have kids within a few years of my kids, and I’ve really loved seeing the first rides on the school bus, little guys walking into preschool for the first time, babies graduating to the toddler room at daycare, and the “big” kids starting grade school. I love it all.
My own older son went back to school last week. He’s in preschool, and we love his school and his teachers very much. So, when back to school time came, I was thrilled. No tears here for either of us! After a whole summer of being together 24/7, my older son was very ready for a little time away from his younger brother, and he was certainly ready for some time on his own away from his mama.
For me, as a mom, back to school time is a time of celebration and triumph. I look at my son, proudly walking up the stairs to school alone, not even checking to make sure I’m following behind him, and I think “YES. We did it. He’s happy; he’s independent. He can do this.” Then I text a photo to my husband of our son proudly walking through the big doors to his waiting teachers, and we silently high-five each other via text message. After all, isn’t this the goal as a parent?
It’s bittersweet to see your kids grow up and go off to school. There’s no doubt about that. But as the school year begins I’m finding myself happy and full of optimism. It’s going to be a great year. I’m thrilled to watch my son learn to read, practice his writing, and make new friends. Will I miss him? Of course. Do I occasionally see a tiny newborn-sized onesie in the attic and feel nostalgic? You bet. But overwhelmingly, I find myself feeling proud of my boys and the people they are rapidly becoming.