The kids start school tomorrow.
We will have a first, second, third, sixth and seventh grader.
The girls are all very excited for the first day.
Not so much.
Especially Number 6 who has been crying every night for the last three nights when it’s time to go to bed.
He has a little anxiety because he’s moving up to the upper elementary school, so it’s a new bus driver, new building, new routine.
But also he’s just totally a kid. All he wants to do is play.
I can’t say I blame him. He’s just turned seven.
Last night as I was putting him to bed, he was hysterically crying.
“Mommy! I love summer so much! It’s so much fun in summer! Why do we have to go to school??? I don’t want to go to school!!!”
He was genuinely heartbroken and inconsolable.
This has been a tough summer for me.
I have been with the kids almost 24/7. They came to work with me most days. I have had very few breaks from them.
And as much as I’ve been saying I’m looking forward to the school year starting, as much as the kids have been bickering and at each other and they could all use a little space and separation, the reality of the situation is that I’m really going to miss them all.
The house is going to be really, really quiet tomorrow.
And unlike last summer, I’m sincerely sad about it.
I feel bad for Number 6. Growing up is hard. Having responsibilities sucks.
And I wish I could tell him that life gets way better when you get older, but to be honest, it doesn’t.
It gets harder. And while I know I need to help my kids learn how to deal with and handle the realities of life, the truth is that I wish I could hold things off for them a little while longer.
Time is going so fast.
And it’s so easy for my brain to fast forward directly to the day the kids leave for college or their own apartment or wherever they go when they leave here for good.
Slowly the house will get quieter and quieter for longer and longer periods of time.
I thought I was really anxious for school to start tomorrow.
But like Number 6, as I sit here and reality sets in, I realize I’m a little bit angry, a little bit anxious, and a whole lot sad that tomorrow we all have to grow up a little bit more.