Today is the first day back to school for two of our children. It’s significant for two reasons:
- One of our children is starting their Freshman year of High School while the other is beginning their Senior year
- It is the first time they have been back to school in person in 18 months
Internally, I’m a bit emotional. After a year and a half, I got used to working with them in the house. Sure, they’re typical teens, spending a lot of time in their room with the door shut, but they were there. I’d see them during breaks, meals, random bits of day. Maybe the older of the two would make a bag of popcorn for an afternoon snack and casually drop off a bowl at my desk. And then there’s our oldest, who is moving to college in a few weeks.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, because if the middle child is a Senior today, that means we have less than a year before they moved off to college too. How did they go from being the little people that you made giggle until their faces turned red, rolling in sheets decorated with flowers and fairies, to young adults preparing to leave for school? I’m barely reconciled with the oldest leaving to even begin contemplating the next kid.
And I feel guilty, because there’s a small part of me looking forward to the freedom and silence of having no children at home. But I think I want that freedom for just a few hours at a time. I’m not ready to be the father of children that have left home. This is the part of parenthood that you know is coming from day one, but when it gets here is a mad rush of chaos that happens too fast.
So yesterday was our last day of summer with all three guaranteed to be in the house. It was a quiet day. We spent some time spent together, just being us. It was nice.