The boys go back to school today.
I kept them home for the entire week. I may have needed them more than they needed to stay home. David had become an abstract concept for them. While there is no doubt in my mind that they loved their baby brother – 5 months is a long time to be without. Longer than the time they had with him.
I’m sure they’ll do fine, they’ve enjoyed their ‘free’ time as it were, but they’re ready to get back into the routine of school and friends and homework.
Me, on the other hand, I’m not so sure. When I left here with David in mid-August, I was used to the ‘big’ boys going to school and doing stuff on their own. Zachary though, was still in diapers, needed help getting dressed and still sat in his high chair. Zachary is now potty-trained, dresses himself and goes to Preschool three mornings a week.
What do I do with all this time on my hands? I’ve finally reached that point, albeit abruptly, that all of us stay-at-home moms look forward to – all the kiddos in school, no more diapers, a chance to catch your breath and do whatever it is you do when all your kids are finally in school. Guaranteed, uninterrupted ‘me’ time.
Except the ‘me’ is barely making it through the day with everyone around – how do I function when there’s no one there who needs me?
Oh, I know, there’s a million chores to be done and I’m sure I can find some sort of busy work to keep my hands, if not my mind, occupied. But the real question is:
How do I make that transition from 4 children to 3?
Aw, you know what I mean – yes, I have 2 older kids – but they’re technically adults and don’t even live in the same state. I’m talking the wee lads here. How did I leave here one sunny August day with 2 elementary school kids, a toddler and a babe only to return on a cold winter’s day with 2 elementary school kids and a Preschooler?
As I mourn the loss of my babe, I also mourn the growing up of my toddler.
All these years I’ve grumbled my way through sewing projects and chores and books and movies and walks and phone conversations because there’s always a child that’s interrupting, there’s always some wee lad that needs something from me just as I sit down or start some project.
We never miss what we have until it’s gone – isn’t that the saying? And no, I don’t mean to state the obvious – of course I miss David, that’s not what I’m trying to say – I’m trying to say that in addition to missing my Capt Snuggles, I also miss being needed.
That 24/7, I can’t do anything for myself type of need that only a baby or a toddler can provide. One of the Surgeon’s had called me a “perpetual caregiver” and he was right, having very young children makes it so. Having very young children with special needs, makes it doubly so.
Life goes on, it’s just a very different life.