It’s that time of year again. Parents and children are putting away the last vestiges of summer and preparing for the school year ahead. Whether they will be going to pre-school or college, kids and parents alike are feeling an array of emotions as the first day of school draws near. Schedules will change no doubt but other, more bittersweet transformations are sure to come.
My children are grown now so it’s easier for me to look back and see this much more clearly. The end of summer was always both joyful and sorrowful. It meant the end of lazy summer days. Days with no set schedules, carpools, homework or projects to deal with. You could spend more time together, take vacations, stay in your pj’s all day or just enjoy each day however your mood dictated. We knew that once school sessions began, life would evolve around the kids’ school schedules and all the extra curricular activities they were involved in. Life would be hectic to say the least! However, I also knew that once they went back to school, I would have more time to pursue the activities and projects that I was interested in. It meant more time for me. It was a mixed bag of emotions.
Now I realize how much they grew and changed with each school year. They would start the school year with a certain level of maturity and it seemed that within just a few weeks you could see the metamorphosis begin. The new teachers they had expected more from them than the ones the previous year and maturity was necessary to accomplish all the things that were given to them. By the end of the school year, I could hardly remember what their voices had sounded like or how young and sweet their faces had been at the beginning of the year. The growth was startling. I confess that I shed my share of tears with each passing year.
I know that all parents with school age children are dealing with these crazy mixed emotions of being so proud of their children growing up but at the same time wanting the moment to last just a little bit longer. Take lots of video and pictures. Treasure each moment, even the challenging ones, because with each year, growth is there for both of you. One day, they will leave the nest but they will never stop needing you to be a parent. Always be there for them and stay a part of their lives. It will most definitely be a different kind of relationship but you will adjust and still love every minute of what is yet to come.