A year ago, I pulled the door of my son’s preschool shut and my eyes swelled with tears of fear and pride. His first day, his first time alone. Today, I slammed that green, iron door behind me, and if it had not been raining, or if my husband hadn’t been with me, I would have torn off my clothes and run around the block screaming Aretha Franklin’s “Freedom.” Instead I drove through morning traffic, serenely, road-rage free.
Back home, I first sat on that toilet for ever, for reason other than that nobody appreciates alone time there than mothers of young children. Then I roamed the house, didn’t make the beds, didn’t do laundry, didn’t even wash the morning milk bottle. By 10.30 I thought a day had gone by, so I went to the supermarket and bought myself food, smirking at the women with toddlers in their carts demanding candy at the register.
Evil, I know.
By 2pm, my living room had turned into a jock’s paradise; an on-going brainless TV marathon, plates of half-eaten food, feet on the table, house clothes.
Pick up is an hour later this year, so by the time I got to school, I missed him more than I do when I leave for days. He didn’t run into my arms as he did every single day last year. He grabbed me by the hand and begged to stay a little longer, he wasn’t done making angels out of play dough. He’d eaten all his food, had no bathroom accidents, which still haunt me from the sudden forced potty training of last September, he wasn’t tired because it wasn’t nap time, he was simply happy. As was I. Our kids our exclusively ours for such a short period of time if you look at the grander picture.
I have a feeling that this year I will finally be human again. Not the me I was before this now three-year-old came into my life, I’m not striving for that, for I am so much more, thanks to him. But it seems like I will finally find out what else I can add on.