If you haven’t noticed, it’s September. You probably knew that though, by seeing the countless photos and posts about children going back to school accompanied by the photo of them standing, waiting for the bus. This year, I did not take a picture of the Daughter’s first day of pre-K. I don’t know if it counts. God knows I have a million pictures of her and it’s not like she has stopped going to school. She’s been going all summer long because I work. I guess that’s why for me it wasn’t a huge deal that she was starting pre-K, aka preschool.
It wasn’t a big deal until I realized that she was not going to be home during the day with me unless it was a vacation day or a sick day or I kept her out of school for the day. Then, I oddly became overwhelmed with emotion.
When she was a baby, I missed her while I was working full-time but now that she can have conversations with me and we can do fun things together and we have had almost four years of me working part-time from home, I feel a little sad. I know that this is a very important thing for her to go to and I know that she benefits greatly from being around her friends. I just didn’t realize how fast these years would go by. Yeah, it’s a little cliché – childhood going by in the blink of an eye, but it oddly does.
Now, I find myself realizing that we are at the very beginning of her official education, because honestly, pre-k is now what I grew up knowing kindergarten to be. I am excited and anxious for my child all at once. I don’t want her to feel overwhelmed but I want her to do her best. I loved school. I want to make sure she loved school. I want her to think of school as a fun place to go and as a place full of adventures. I want her to grow her brain, learn to think for herself, and realize that the world is amazing, full of amazing people and amazing things.
The funny thing is that I am realizing that I am now forced to really figure out more about myself. I now have free time. What do I do with that free time? Going back for my Master’s degree is calling me. Every day, I find myself searching through various programs, looking at course catalogs, and dreaming about back-to-school supplies. I realize that I am on the precipice of a major life change. Many women face this issue and I don’t know that they talk about it much. I know that it does make it into the news but sometimes I don’t always feel I relate to those women. I don’t think I’m “leaning in” though I have to admit, I have not read the book. Maybe I should? I just know that I want to be around for my daughter and be able to be at school plays and take her to whatever extra-curricular activity she ends up selecting and at the same time, I want to have a career, something I love and am good at doing so that I feel like I am not wasting away. I need to think and use my brain. God gave it to me, I had better use it lest I have to answer for not using it. I need to be engaged but I want to be able to be around for the Daughter whenever she needs me. Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it too.
What changes do I have to make to be able to do that? I think step one is finding where to go to school and what exactly to study. Meanwhile, I’m going to figure out where to place the preschool art gallery that will be slowly adding pieces over the next year. And I may just enjoy a day or two of not having to watch Super Why! or Bubble Guppies.