Tuesday, September 4, 2018:
Mason started Kindergarten and Kathryn started Pre-K today. I know we always say this but especially today I felt it important to remind others that there is so much more to just a first day of school for a parent sometimes. Looking at this picture one might think today was just like all the other pictures parents are posting on social media and thinking how sweet. Behind that picture, there is so much more.
There I am at age 35 with my 2 little angels. Their first day back to school and the 4 month anniversary of my mother’s death. These kids have given me so much strength from before they were even born, but in particular on days like today. Last year during their school year, especially toward the end of my mother’s life we were trying the best we could as parents. Trying to get the kids to school on time, have laundry done, get them to birthday parties if possible. It was really hard. We were trying to juggle so much and keep things as normal as possible for the kids when really nothing was normal for us as we were watching my mother in her last weeks of life.
This year it’s now all about being able to be on top of things the way we wished we could have in previous years.
So today was a really big deal for us to have had all of our “to dos” checked off for the kids including getting them to school ON TIME. it felt weird to be honest because it actually felt easy (I know it’s only day 1 so I shouldn’t get ahead of myself!). The only focus was on the kids and not the kids and my Mom.
I was taken a bit off guard after drop off because I quickly realized that I didn’t have my mom anymore to call like I used to after I dropped the kids off. Every morning I would call her and tell her how drop off went. It’s what she lived for – hearing what her grandchild did or said. And then we would talk about what was on her agenda for the day, how she was feeling and when we would see each other which was most likely after school. It was something I always looked forward to and I never took for granted because I knew that one day in the future I would no longer have those conversations. I hadn’t done drop off for so many months that it really didn’t hit me until today how different it would feel afterwards.
I write about this because I feel like I’ve met other woman my age recently who have lost a parent not quickly but a sort of long and painful road and now they feel lost themselves. I don’t write to tell them it’s going to be OK because we know it will be and we know life goes on and as time passes, it will get easier. But I want them to know that they are not alone and I want to remind people that we all have our stories. Behind the pictures, there is always a story. Maybe it is a good and funny story but maybe there is also pain behind those smiles.
I smile while my heart aches, but I have made a promise to myself and to my mother that I will do everything I can to be the best mother I can be including getting my kids to school on time! I will also strive to live my life like my mother lived hers – as though each day could be her last.