I did not shop for school supplies this year. No number two pencils, desk organizers, cute notebooks, or white boards. For the past 16 years I have taken a first day of school photo, posing my two kids on the front porch and forcing them to smile for the camera. But not today. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little bit weird, but it’s not bad weird.
This is the fifth day of everybody’s-at-college, but-the-dog. I find myself ensconced in cleaning, happy to wake up to a neat kitchen–a kitchen just the way I left it the previous night. I’ve reduced the front hallway shoe pile to four pairs, and dinners have been a no-stress affair with lots of veggies and NO COMPLAINING. My Whole Foods bill has been reduced by one million dollars. All in all, it’s sort of been ok.
But I imagine I could freak out in a week or so, when the relief of getting Ally packed and moved in has worn off and I find myself wandering around the house looking for kids to mother.
I don’t know exactly what this year will be like. But so far, it doesn’t feel like I am going to take to my bed and mourn the role I have spent much of my adult life starring in. Does this mean I don’t love my kids? NO. It doesn’t mean that at all. I think it means I am trying to take in this change and see what it is all about, see what kind of opportunities it might present. I’m open. This next part of life isn’t scripted, and I’m wide open to welcoming the same kind of possibilities all those new school supplies have always represented each September. Gratitude for the unknown. Every time there’s an ending, there’s a beginning. We’ll see, won’t we?