Monday, September 8, 2014

Not me. Nope. No Way.

A few weekends ago, right before we sent our oldest off to kindergarten, I was talking to my husband about a couple of things - namely how we were going to handle school drop-offs, when it hit me that Connor was going off to school.

If you would have asked me a year ago if I'd have any sad emotions about Connor going off to kinder, I probably would have chuckled. Not me. Not teacher Mama whose children have gone to daycare and preschool their whole lives. Nope. No way. My son has been so independent practically from birth. Heck he weaned himself from breast feeding because, I'm convinced, he hated cuddling and wanted to hold a bottle on his own. He's just always been so strong. And so, if you would have asked me about sending him off, I would have told you that the only emotion I'd feel would be just EXCITEMENT. Excitement for this new journey he would be blessed to go on.

So Mr. Howard and I were talking about Wednesday drop offs, when I burst out into tears. Full on ugly cry. It caught me SO OFF GUARD. I just couldn't even help it. My husband was so shocked, he didn't know what to do. He stared at me for a second, trying to process it. "Is she really crying? Or is she being funny?" I'm sure he was thinking. Once he realized I was really crying, he came over and grabbed me. I couldn't even help it. I just collapsed in tears. In between sobs, I got out my questions, "What if he doesn't know where to go after school?"..."What if someone yells at him?"..."How is he going to know what to do when the bell rings?"..."What if he gets into the hot lunch line and doesn't have any money?"

All my fears about Connor growing up spilled out. Logically I know that if someone yells at him, he'll learn and grow from it. Logically I know he won't know what to do when the bell rings the first time, but he'll learn. Logically I know that if he gets into the hot lunch line, someone will help explain it to him. But my Mama heart hurts knowing that he may experience fear and frustration and hurt. I don't want him to have to feel that. I know he needs to; I know it's part of growth, but I just want to protect him from pain.

I hate when people say, "you just never know until you have a child," but there really is no other way to say it. I just never-ever knew it was possible to have your heart traveling outside of your a little person...a little person who is going off to kindergarten today and college tomorrow. It is one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I can't even imagine what I'm going to be like when my kids go off to college. Holy Moly. Deep breaths, Mama....We've got 13 years until that day.

That whole experience has given me a new perspective about family time...a new understanding of Mamas in different stages of life...and a new appreciation for holding on and truly, truly appreciating life's moments in the moment as they come.

So for Labor Day, when a friend texted us and said they were going to the Lake and wondered if we wanted to come, we jumped at the chance. We had a million things to do...Mr. Howard had to work that night...the kids weren't going to be able to really go down for naps on time...and I was not feeling well. But we were determined to soak up these memories and moments in time. We packed up the kids, our coolers, and headed down to the lake.
The boys were SO VERY excited!
One of our friends brought a paddleboard and I'm pretty sure we desperately need to invest in one because the boys were OBSESSED.
Connor even got to paddle a little by himself (that's Aiden sitting in the front). If you know anything about Aiden, it is that he is go, go, go, go, go. And that child sat for a total of probably 30 minutes on that paddleboard. Can you tell he loved it?
Our friends also brought an inflatable sail boat and I took Connor out with me on it. Here was my view forward:
And here was my little riding buddy behind me:
Aiden was having so much fun, it took a LOT to get him to pose in a photo with me. A lot. But we did it. 
Isabella liked looking at the water, but didn't want to go in it - which I would have predicted.
Nova Pup was the saddest of everyone. She had an injury and couldn't get in the water. Poor babe.
Connor was excited about everything. The lake is definitely his element. Water, sand, boats, paddleboards, food, running around, and sand. His idea of heaven.
 I know Isabella doesn't look thrilled to be taking a picture with me, but she WAS thrilled about spending time with friends.
Some day, I hope I look back and remember the little details. My kids will never be littler than they were that day. I hope I remember my boys with sticks running around, giggling and laughing at the mud they got on their faces. I hope I remember Isabella building sand castles under our tent. I hope I remember the dancing and the tantrums. I just hope I remember.
Because, before I know it, I'll be crying in my husband's lap asking, "but what if he doesn't make any friends in his dorm?"..."And what if his alarm goes off and he doesn't make it to his final?" 

**Disclaimer, hubby spent a lot of time grilling with his friend and then, eventually, offroading around the lake - which is why I didn't get any photos of him at the lake.**


J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ahhh yes, these feelings and more will be felt. Enjoy.....

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Haha. Thanks.

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