Why is everyone so sad the kids are off to school?

I see everyone is sad about school starting. I’m not trying to be one of those parents who is like, “ZOMG, I HATE MY MINI-JERKS!” because while I’ve had some pretty full days of sunscreen battles and 10:00 p.m. eventual bedtimes, I don’t actually hate my kids. I’m exited for school to start for different reasons – because it’s good for them and they love it. Growing up is what kids are supposed to do.

My friend Melanie sees things my way.

I am not the least bit sad; in fact I’m so excited I’m counting the days…but I seem to be the only mother like…ever…who isn’t sad.


My oldest daughter is starting Kindergarten on Thursday and my middle one took a swan dive into preschool this morning. They are at the age where they love school. Who am I to be crying tears and stuffing them back into diapers? Disclosure: I do have a cuddly 9-month-old who is currently using my arm flab as a teething ring, so I might feel differently when I’m an empty nester.

There are dissenting opinions.

“I’m sad because I feel like she’s no longer just mine. She’s officially entering ‘the system’ and I have to follow other people’s rules in regard to MY child.”

I get this one because it annoys me that DCFS regulations stipulate all kids must be given hot lunch at public school. I had to get an exception from the pediatrician so my kids eat vegetarian meals. We hippies and our special snowflake syndrome!

I’m really just excited for my older girls to do what they love. When they are teenagers and back to school means facing bullies and putting the kibosh on summertime antics, then I’ll cry. THEN I’ll miss the easy years of butterfly backpacks and Elsa folders. When I find a cigarette lighter in their backpack, I might even miss Pampers.

Yes, Kindergarten and preschool do signify my babies are growing up. That’s a good thing. Not to be a downer, but we lost a baby last summer so my perspective is more like, yeah, there’s another birthday or another threshold to cross and it sure beats the alternative. The goal of life isn’t to stop time during the good parts and speed it up during the bad ones. I’ve tried that. No luck. The goal is to appreciate all of the times and that means finding the positive in every change.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll eat my hat in a few years when I’m alone in this living room at 9:00 a.m. I don’t think I will though. In the words of Stevie Nicks, you have to handle the seasons of your life.

Allow me to channel my inner Grandpa Simpson for a minute and just say that maybe the reason “kids” act like children into their 30’s these days is because everyone thinks maturing is bad. We glorify babies. No one wants to adopt older kids or even older puppies. Our whole culture has this obsession with staying young, from needles in our forehead (guilty! just saying!) to toilet training creeping later and later and not embracing our kids going off to school.

Go get ’em, school girls! The next phase is just as good.

a first day preschool

I might have went overboard celebrating this morning, but she’s my middle child, so I have to try twice as hard. I’ll phone in the third.


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PS, I inherited that chair from my late mother-in-law and painted it “Piñata”. I think she’s golf clapping in heaven.

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Filed under: Preach, Raising sisters

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