Back to school, for me, is a time that I feel quite mixed about. On the one hand, I love it! I admit it, I thoroughly love back to school time, and it’s not (just) for the reasons you would think. Yes, a part of me is glad to have a bit more of a schedule and a bit more sanity around the house while the big 2 are off to school – I won’t deny that, though I hate to tout it because always, in the back of my mind, I remember a Facebook post a while back from a single mom. She splits times with her kids going off to their dad’s house, and when they are gone for stretches at a time, she misses them. Dearly. Of course she does, I would too! But she said something very poignant that I am going to brutally slaughter here: when people celebrate sending their kids off for 8 hours a day, it strikes her, because there are days she would do anything to be with her kids.
But still, I love back to school. And here’s why.
For Eric, I love back to school because I remember being his age and being so excited to go back. For me, learning was fun, and school was awesome. Eric often is the same way. He loves to go to school, see his friends, learn some new stuff, play on the playground, and do all that big kid stuff he’s gotten used to. In the morning, many mornings, he starts asking when the bus will come about an hour before it arrives, and about a half hour before it arrives he wants to go out to the yard and wait for it. I wondered if that would change after the summer, but the very first day of school he came out of his room dressed and ready to go. “When will the bus be here??” I love back to school because he does. We both love going and buying school supplies together. We both love getting his backpack on that first morning. We both love that special time in the morning where it’s just him and me (ok, and a baby on my hip these days) standing out in the yard talking and playing for those last minutes before the bus pulls up to whisk him away. Do I miss him? Yeah, sure. As nice as it is, today, to have some peace and quiet (and time to blog!), I wonder what he’s doing right now. I know he’s (most likely) happy though, and I am excited for when he comes home and I get to hear at least a little about what he did.
For Danny, back to school means routine. He loves it there too – he obviously can’t tell me that, but I can tell in the way he bounces around in the morning watching out the window saying, “Yeah! Bus!” and how, when I take him, he hops out of the car, takes my hand, and practically skips into the building. Over the summer, even with his summer session (part time), I could see a deterioration in him. He has, thankfully, maintained a lot of his communication, but his sensory needs just aren’t met here. It’s hard when I have a sensory-seeking kid and a tiny baby… I need to pick him up, swing him around, toss him into pillows, help him do flips. But, um, when I have a baby that doesn’t sleep much in his crib, how do I keep him from being squashed? And then Eric sees me doing it with Danny and wants me to do it to him, but Eric is too big and heavy (Danny practically is!) and it just… Oy. I love back to school because I know it is an environment Danny thrives in. Some people take objection to the whole “it takes a village” concept – ever heard the old “I’ve seen the village, and I don’t want it raising my kids?” – but for special needs kids, I honestly believe it does. I support at home, and I do a darn good job I like to think, but it’s not the same and will never be the same. Back to school means my little boy has an easier time coping with the world, and while I miss his goofy laugh and silly walks, that’s so important.
So off they go. I’m glad for it, but not because I want my kids gone… It’s because it’s such a fabulous thing for them. They come home tired and happy (most days), and even though I’m glad they’re at school, you’ll still catch me around 4 o’clock pacing by the window and watching down the street in anticipation for the bus to arrive so I can welcome them home. Even when the stinkers come in the door, toss their backpack at me, ask for a drink, and disappear downstairs to watch TV… Nice, kid. Makes me feel real loved.
Hi! I found your blog through the Mommy-Brain Mixer and have been really interested in learning about your family and CMV in particular. Like you said, it’s the most common risk you’ve never heard of. While this is totally different.. my daughter was diagnosed with Cornelia De Lange Syndrome (CdLS) also a rare thing.. (1 in 10,000 births), but I can understand some of your emotions and struggles. It sounds like you have great balance in your family. I will definitely be following along!
Thanks for stopping by my blog via MOB Society! It looks like our 3 boys are about the same age… fun and busy times:)
I love this so much because I’ve been moping lately about school! I love that you’ve reminded me of WHY back to school is so great. And you’re right… I also remember how excited I was for school each fall! I’m SO glad you linked up to the Mommy-Brain Mixer and I hope to see you again on Thursday!