that it's not about me. This is something that motherhood continues to teach me. Over, and over, and over again.
It's always been in the back of my mind, the worry, of when Garrett goes to Kindergarten. I'm not worried about whether he's academically ready because he's been in Montessori school since he was 18 months and the teachers have a done a wonderful job cultivating his mind. I'm not worried socially, too much, because he will be one of the older one's in class and going to school has always been his existence. No, I'm worried about what happens after the final school bell rings.
As a mother who works full time outside the home and lives in a neighborhood where I perceive I am one of the only mothers that does I am worried about not being there waiting in car pool line, or at the front door to walk him back home. I worry about not being there to chat with the other mothers & set up after school playdates. I worry about not being the one to give him snack. I worry about not being the one who sits with him while he works through homework. I worry.
The last year or so I held out hope that I would be able to cut back my hours enough to only work school hours. I held out hope that I could still contribute to my family & fulfill my role as full time mother.
With the reality of Garrett's last first start of a school year at Montessori upon us I realized I needed to stop hoping and start acting if I wanted to make this our reality. However, after a few serious discussions, directly influenced by uncertainty in the economy, it became all too clear that if I were to do this, our life would change in a variety of ways in each alternative scenario. For the first time perhaps we really talked about the changes that we were seriously considering instead of talking around them. Changes that were going to make life more difficult than easier. Changes that would impact us in the long term.
I was beyond upset. I had in my mind what I knew was best for our family, to have me continue working full time and I had in my heart what I thought was best for our son, to have me at home in the afternoons.
And then, I opened my eyes and saw our son. He is happy, insightful, resilient, kind, creative, bright, funny, friendly, articulate (when he's not being silly) & loving. As a child without any siblings he loves being around other children. He is a boy who begs to go to the gym so he can play in sweet abandon. He is a boy who is thriving in his Sunday school class. He is a boy who has been exposed to so much, both academic & life, because he exists in his own individual world while I work full time outside the home.
This is when I realized, this panic & worry in my heart was not about him. It was about me. And the truth is, this is not supposed to be about me. So, I've come to terms with the fact that he will probably attend the after school program at his elementary in a year. I've also come to realize this will at most only make up an hour and a half of his day that, knowing my son, he will love.
Motherhood teaches me over, and over again that this ride is all about him and sometimes I need to give him credit for the amazing little man he is already.