Back to School
Today was my daughter’s first full day of Kindergarten. Yes, Kindergarten! Where did the precious time go? At drop-off, I watched my last baby exit my car. Her two brothers each held her hand and walked her through the front doors of their school. It melted my heart into a puddle, and I had to hold back the tears. A couple of friends texted me to inform me of the cutest thing they had witnessed as well. I then could no longer hold back the tears.
My last baby is my buddy. I can confirm that her amazing palate is from sitting on my lap at every meal and trying what I eat. I am going to miss my tuna melt breakfasts and shrimp shumai and dim sum luncheons. Although I won’t have an audience when I shower, I’m melancholy how there won’t be hours of hair braiding, book reading, Barbie and baby doll playing, and the continuous question of, “When are the boys coming home?”
It has been over nine years in which I have been without a little one at home with me. People recently asked me, “What are you going to do with yourself, now that you have no kids at home during the day? Aren’t you going to be bored?”
So much has changed in almost a decade. I am no longer the same person I was a decade ago. Who am I now? I almost need to find myself again because the things I did pre-babies are totally different. I know for certain that I will not be bored. I have neglected my work and writing, whereas I would only take on assignments that I could complete while children were napping or sleeping at night. I feel a rush of excitement knowing I can now do my work. I have the opportunity to sit by the window and bask in the sunlight, instead of sitting by a dim-lit lamp, hoping not to fall asleep on my laptop. I may spring for some minty seltzer instead of tea or coffee dregs.
I am happy to report that while the wistfulness of motherhood is still present, I was able to find a bit of “me” again. I showered sans my favorite audience member and paid my last respects to Book Revue. I only packed to go out for myself, which was the oddest feeling in the world. The independence felt new but good. P.S. It was disheartening to go to Book Revue not only because of their closure, but due to the mayhem of people hoarding and scouring for their free books. I’m sure many of those same people were the ones hoarding the toilet paper during the peak of our pandemic. In any event, I am content writing my piece for upcoming StorySLAM while working on my upcoming book.
I find myself to continuously drift off and wonder what my little mamaleh is doing. I mean, she has barely left my side in almost six years, and her absence is still fresh and foreign. But I know her jubilant little self will be just fine. And just like that, she’s on her way. And so am I.