He put on his shoes, grabbed his backpack, and walked to the bus stop holding his sister's hand. And, then, before I was ready, he hopped up the steps and took a seat on the bright yellow bus. I'm not sure he even looked back. As much as my son resists change, that first morning when smoothly. I was wondering how it would go, but we really didn't have any resistance. It probably helped to have his big sister there. It definitely helped my Mama heart.
But, after both of my kiddos went off to a new school year, the house felt so quiet. The rooms, way too dark, way too clean. Friends, I haven't had a quiet house for 8 years! I'm sure many of you can claim much longer. I haven't had a schedule this open since I was a newlywed.
With the advent of that bright yellow bus, my days of parenting have drastically changed. For one, writing has been the back burner for years now. I've had pockets of time through the years (mostly during preschool), but suddenly I have 7 hours 5 days at my disposal. More than anything, I want to use that time wisely. I don't want it wasted.
Yes, I'm thankful for solo trips to the grocery store, for a cleaner house, for time to invest in crafts, and, most of all, writing. The extra free time to do those things is amazing! But I find myself having to find a new place as well. My role of Mama is evolving and changing. It's such an integral part of who I am, that it's diffcult when these changes come.
At the same time, it's hard to let go. It's hard to admit that my children are growing older, that they don't need me as much. After so many year of devoting so much time to them, I find myself asking, what's next? It's hard when I feel myself flailing a bit, searching for a new place to stand. It's such a strange feeling, having both of my kids at school.
I know that the Lord isn't finished with me yet. My story is far from over. I have the priviledge of watching my children grow older, of seeing a world of learning with all of it's vibrant colors light up before their eyes. I get to volunteer and still be a part of their education. What privileges those are!
We are truly fortunate when it comes to elementary schools in our town. One of my greatest joys is volunteering there! I love passing out water during field day, helping kids in the classroom, planning special events with the PTO, even meeting my kids for lunch. Elementary school opens up a whole new commuunity of us to be involved in, one I've been so blessed by these past few years.
In whatever season you find yourselves in right now, if you're sleep deprived with newborns, watching your baby step onto a bus for the first time, or maybe you're a bit in front of me and just sent your youngest off to college, you still have such an amazing purpose, such a story yet! Embrace this new season. Shed a few tears, maybe take a day to paint your nails and watch copious amounts of Netflix, but then stand up the next day and move forward, because He's not finished with you yet!
Just after 3PM I watched my baby step back off the bus. He held my hand (isn't it wonderful that he still wants to do that?) and told me his favorite part of the day was music class: "Mama, I got to bang the drums!" He asked me for a snack and played with his Legos before I shuttled him and his sister off to Karate. And my heart was full. My days of being Mama are not over yet. There's so much of this story to tell.