The End of the Elementary School Years

 

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Heiwa elementary school %u5E73%u548C%u5C0F%u5B66%u6821 _18 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article by Wendy McCance

This is the last week of school for my children.  I have mixed emotions associated with the end of this school year.  This is my son’s last year in Elementary School.  After this week, I won’t have any kids in Elementary School again.  Somehow this is all too much for me to wrap my head around.

Tonight is my son’s graduation assembly.  I’m sure I will be an emotional mess.  The last few times I went into that Elementary school I would reminisce about how many more times I might walk those halls.  I love the smell of the school which is kind of a mix of brown paper towel and powdered paint, crayons and glue.  I love seeing the artwork on the walls and the posters with the inspiring sayings.  I’ll miss seeing the little ones walking in a single file line down the hall.  Or the kids running around tagging each other on the playground.

This morning I woke my son up and stuck the poor boy on my lap.  He is long and gangly now, but I still wanted to snuggle him up like a toddler.  He came downstairs for breakfast and I fawned over him.  I made some oatmeal for him and I swear I was acting mushier than what he had to eat in his bowl.

I don’t really know why I am mourning the loss of kids in Elementary School.  My friends think I’m crazy.  I keep hearing comments like, “aren’t you happy to be out of the baby stage?”  or, “think about all of the extra time you will have now that your kids are getting so independent.”  Personally, I think these comments suck.

Over the weekend I was over at the in-laws and having a conversation about the kids growing up so fast.  I said that even though I was in my mid 40’s, if I got pregnant again, I would be thrilled.  Somehow I just haven’t gotten the hope for more kids shook out of my system.  Needless to say, I got a funny look and an astonished reply about having more free time and enjoying the things that with a baby were difficult to juggle.

I think that maybe if I had my children 7 days a week 24 hrs a day, maybe I would be burnt out.  Maybe at that point I would be doing the celebratory hurrah with a bottle of wine.  Since the kids were tiny, I got jipped out of half of their time because of a divorce and joint custody arrangement.  When I dig deep into my emotions, I really honestly am not sure that would make a difference though.

I am a caregiver.  I love to be in a position to nurture and support.  The kids always joke about the way I get when they are sick.  I go into full on mommy mode.  There is tea and juice and toast next to their bedside.  Tissues and hard candies or throat soothers litter the bed. A tv is put on with any good show I can find for them.  Sometimes its old shows that are searched out because of the nostalgia factor.  The kids love to reminisce about shows from their (sniff) childhood.  I always put a good book on the nightstand and some magazines or crayons and coloring books.  Of course if there is a sore throat, gingerale and popsicles are a must.  Seriously, when the kids get sick, I will go out specially to fill up a cart with any item I can find to soothe them and make being sick more bearable.

So tonight I will go to my son’s graduation and beam with pride for all that he has accomplished.  I am thrilled at what a terrific son I have.  I will just have to get over the fact that the kids are growing up.  In the meantime, our poor pets are getting an extra dose of suffocating love and affection.  It’s my replacement strategy.  This morning I shared a poptart with our ferret.  My oldest daughter watched me coddle our little pet and rolled her eyes as she walked away.  Obviously, this is going to be a difficult process for me.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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9 thoughts on “The End of the Elementary School Years

  1. I think the hardest part of watching our kids grow up is the knowledge that they will not need us as the once did. As you have said, it all comes with such mixed emotions, pride and joy regarding the amazing people they are growing in to. But then they spread their wings and off they go and then we start the process of transitioning from one life to another.

    I love the way our kids have grown up but I miss them being kids…Sigh!

    BTW: I want to be sick at your house. 😀

  2. I am going through the same thing right now with my daughter, who has turned out to be more sensible than most adults and a terrific child. Her last day of elementary school was May 25th, and I was very emotional too, but I kept my composure as I swallowed back the tears to keep from embarrassing her (yes, I am beginning to embarrass her…lol). She has been ready for middle school for the past few months and just couldn’t wait til her last day of elementary school. In the meantime, I have tried to remind her that she shouldn’t wish her life away and grow up so fast…that’s what I did, and now as an adult, even though it’s not against the law or anything, I find myself regressing a bit at times. I, too, went through a divorce and custody battle about 5 years ago when my daughter was 7, and I know exactly what you mean by feeling jipped. I have not come across anyone that is not at least somewhat biased, who is close to me, to talk to about it. Sometimes I have felt so alone because of this. I was reminded after reading your post that I am not alone aftrer all. In fact, I resonated with your words and felt as if I had written the post myself. While reading your post, I will have to admit that I started getting choked up. In a weird way, I think this post actually helped me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Hi Amy, Wow, what a great compliment. Your comment meant the world to me. Unless you have been through divorce, you can’t wrap your head around the feelings associated with not seeing the kids all the time. I’m sure it is this that has made me cling so hard to every moment and wishing I could extend it. I have really enjoyed the blogging experience. When I get comments like yours, I feel the same way you did. I’m not alone and there are others who really know what I am feeling. Thank you so much for your thoughts. 🙂

  3. The hardest part about being a mother is that you keep having to let go. It is a hard thing to do. Brian graduated on Friday from college so I guess they are officially all grown up. Thrilled but miss being the mom.

    • Wow, that’s crazy. I can’t believe he is through with college. I still have a long way to go, but it just seems to be zipping by. Nick got a cd full of school pictures at the graduation. I was ready to put it in his memory box. He was trying to trade it to Christina for g-d knows what. 🙂

  4. I loved this post. I am glad I am not the only one who likes the halls and art of elementary schools. Miss those days, but never fear they will need you always!! 🙂

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