Mothers often talk of tears in their eyes as they send their youngest child off to pre-school, or kindergarten, but I never felt particularly vulnerable to such sentiments. Earlier this fall, as my youngest child (age 3.5) finally headed off to a 5 day preschool, I never stopped to wonder if I would feel a pang. I was ready to have time to myself, to go for a run, meet someone for coffee, and most of all, I was ready to move on to the next stage.
The days are long, but the years are short, yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn’t think I would be lamenting the change. Until now. Surprisingly, I find myself uneasy with the quiet mornings, the silence in the car, and most of all, I feel lonesome on companionless trips to the grocery store. I miss the child in the cart, sometimes grabbing, wiggling, screaming, but more often chatty, lovable, and genuine good company.
I know: It’s only preschool. I have years of milestones to come: kindergarten, sleep away camp, first mobile phone, the list goes on. But I also know it feels like only a year or two has passed since my 7th grader started pre-school. So yes, those years are short, no matter how long the days seem.
*photo taken my me, this very morning, as I shopped behind a mother with 3 children in tow and actually found myself feeling nostalgic.