Saturday, June 12, 2010

My, how they grow

Thursday was the last day of 1st grade for Zack and when I woke up to take him to school, I totally did NOT expect to feel sad. A lot of moms would say it was sadness over the prospect of having to entertain an active child for three months, but no. That wasn't it.

I realized, yet again, my little boy is growing up.

It's all happening way. too. darned. fast.

And I am so not prepared for it.

Every milestone kills me. His first tooth, his first birthday, the first day of Kindergarten, the first day of First Grade. But I wasn't prepared for the END of first grade to bug me.

I think it might be because next year he'll be leaving the "little school" for the "big school". The little school, as he calls it, is only one story and he's been there for two years. He's comfortable there, knows everyone, and I've volunteered a lot so *I* know everyone, too.

But next year, he'll attend the other school on campus, or "the big school", which is two stories tall and houses half the 1st grade up to the fifth grade. Zack took a tour of it last week and he's excited, of all things, about the lockers. Which have no locks, according to him, but mom remains clueless. On many things school related.

Including, who his teacher will be next year. This year, there was a big upheaval, with the current principal moving to the high school, the principal of two years ago coming back, leaving a vacancy in another school, and lots of teachers apparently moving around. So we're supposed to "watch the paper" (which we don't get) or stop by the school "sometime in mid-August" to see where his name is posted.

Seeing how Type A I am, that bugs me, but I completely understand it. It is what it is.

(What? Me? Type A? You don't say.)

So the summer is planned ahead of us with lots of activities with my little guy. We're trying to hit all the Smithsonian museums we already haven't seen, visit the zoo again, and he has two camps -- one in percussion and one in clay. I'm saying prayers every day that headaches and other things stay away so I can give him as much of myself as possible. I don't know how much longer it will be before Zack won't want to hang with his mom as much, so I'm looking at each day as a gift.

Rick, my dearest of husbands, who's already raised two boys (now in their mid-20's) has been through this before, and tells me that Zack will never NOT love me and need me. But I can't help it. Zack is my only child, and each day is both the last day AND the first day. Does this make any sense to the other moms out there?

So here I sit, typing this while alternately helping Zack with his Legos, enjoying the time, enjoying life, and trying my level best to ignore any underlying sadness that tries to sneak in.

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for An Artist's Year Off.


  1. I'm getting a little misty here.

  2. AWW Lori, Don't think it as the end of first grade, but the beginning of summer vacation! You guys sound like you have lots of really cool stuff to do together and he can't do that if he's all tied up with the school thing!!! And those Abe Lincoln hats are tooo funny!

  3. I was getting a little misty myself too.
    I can relate to your post. Teagan is finishing up kindergarten and will be going into 1st grade. I feel that's a big step. Also, she had half-day kindergarten, and next year she will be in school until 3:45pm (granted, they don't start until 9:05am).

    Have a wonderful summer..enjoy your time with your sweet boy and who knows, maybe we can catch up sometime.

  4. Oh, I hear you, truly. Ben's my only child and I go through exactly the same line of thinking/feeling. It's so unsettling to be hit unexpectedly with those feelings. I am like you: I absolutely love summer and having my kid all to myself at home and go through a depression when school starts again! This doesn't stop, girlfriend: Ben's 13!

  5. Why give the sadness so much energy? He is your little boy now - enjoy it, all of it. There is more to come.

  6. this makes perfect sense.
    today, i spent the day with my 7-year-old...we don't get a lot of days, just the two of us and the day? was wonderful. I watched him interact with some older kids and this wave of "soon, he'll be the big boy thrilling a little, making HIS day" and i have to admit, i got a lump in my throat.

    with each new stage of life, comes many new things and new adventures...remember the previous ones, but make room for the new.
    at least...that's what I'M trying to do.

  7. I feel your pain! But, you know, my kids, who are 24 and 25, still want to be around Jim and me. But, like you, I feel the melancholy of the future. But we really shouldn't. I remember being back in my bedroom when the kids were teenagers folding towels and just sobbing ... but that could have been menopause ... whatever!

    I wish I were more Type A ... I'm more Type C, D, or F! Love ya!

  8. We don't share much about the little stages of grieving that are part of being a mom, do we?

    I have a 21 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. I think the little "letting gos" of my son have been quite different that my daughter, but very, very difficult.

    The good news is, eventually, a new relationship is formed and it can be wonderful. But you always miss the little ones.

  9. So sweet!

    Depending on your DC/Smithsonian schedule, we might be able to come up and meet you for the day.

    Which reminds me, I have something here to mail to Z -- the girls and I were out and saw this and they said, "Oh we have to send this to Zack!"

  10. Aww..Lori. Believe it or not, it will get easier as he grows and becomes more and more of his own person. And there will be alot of reasons to be proud along the way. Enjoy it to the fullest!

  11. He will always need you and depend on you. Trust me. Nothing changes except how fast time passes. Enjoy each chapter of the book of life and you will never feel that you missed anything. Because you won't. Much love to my little boy from his Mimi.

  12. so very heartfelt. Can't totally relate to the circumstances, but the attachment and emotions those I can.

  13. i know exactly what you mean - and mine is only 9 month old.

  14. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Lori, you might check and see if your local paper has an online "newsletter." Ours allows us to sign up for an email that sends the day's headlines. That way, you might get the updated info on schools! Teri

  15. I know what you mean. I'm often so busy that I seem to miss those milestones. My 12 y.o. is just about to lose his last baby teeth! Oh my. Where IS my little boy?

  16. It makes perfect sense. My little boy is 2 1/2 next month, and I'm expecting our second in January. Ever since the day my son was born, though, life has been so bittersweet, which is probably a big part of why we decided to have another! As my little guy learns new words and new skills every day, I look at him and then I look at the photos of him from just a year ago, less than a year ago, and I realize, he doesn't look like a baby anymore - he looks like a little boy!
    I totally understand where you're coming from. Because I work from home, I spend most days feeling tortured that I can't spend 110% of my time playing with him but also feeling incredibly lucky that I get to have the experience of raising my son and not having to put him in daycare so that someone else gets to see all those milestones...

  17. Lori, you know I can relate to these thoughts so very much! I hear you when you say that everything is a first and also a last. But you two have so many fun times ahead...which I hope also includes getting together this summer for some fun on the Bay in OC.


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