Now what?

Both of my boys are now school kids.

The first day of school was marked with the requisite excitement, photos, and hugs (Owen’s from very “far away from school, Mom, sheesh”) and Noah’s at the door of his room (His teacher: “Mom stops right here!”). My kindergartener is thrilled to be a school kid like Owen; his brother is an old pro. In our district, two full-time school kids means they will be gone from 9:30 a.m. (bus at 9:06) to 4 p.m. every day.

So now what?

I won’t try to claim I was instantly productive with all my alone time. Since I went to school to drop Noah off and to the very smart and timely “Boo Hoo Breakfast” organized for kindergarten parents, I was up and dressed and presentable. I looked like I just may have it together.

I don’t.

I spent the remainder of my first day alone watching Bill Clinton’s convention speech again and reading political wonkery on Twitter to console myself. It worked . . . sort of. I forgot to eat lunch and I didn’t get groceries or work on the myriad piles of clutter or other tasks I’d set out for myself. I didn’t blog or research or even run, though it is on my training schedule for today. I was just adrift, and I wonder how long this feeling will last.

Being home with my boys is why I left my career. Why I stopped out, took the Mommy track, changed my identity and my title, and cut my tether to the outside world. And now, though no fault of their own or mine, they’ve left me.

Around 3:30 p.m. today I felt my pulse quicken, I kid you not. I was watching the clock and productive for the first time all day (breakfast dishes, anyone?). I went to pick up my happy boys and was rewarded with a running, catapulting hug from my kindergartener, who informed me that he has learned to read and that “safety is always first.” We came home for the idyllic snack and afternoon talk I’d been waiting for. It was wonderful, and lasted, oh, about 9 minutes.

Then they started bickering, then fighting, taunting, and crying. Hitting and chasing. Scaring, screaming, and shouting. And I was happy, because they love me so much they worked together to make tomorrow just a little easier than today.

My handsome sixth grader is too cool for back-to-school photos.
Until Dad cracked a fart joke.

My kindergartener is ready to take on the world with his mad
Ninja Lego Star Wars skills — almost.

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