When Your Last Child Goes To SchoolAugust 11, 2022
In just a few short weeks, our daughter will start kindergarten.
On Monday and Wednesday mornings, he’ll sling his small backpack over his shoulders, pull on his tie-dye sneakers, and head out the door.
If you ask him about it, he will be very happy and tell you how happy he is.
But me? While I was ready for him to go and fully confident that he would make it, my stomach kept doing flip-flops at the thought. Because he is our youngest. Our youngest. Our last one.
If you’ve been here before, you know:
When your last child goes to school, you will think that your heart is broken.
It will be hard to stop this time because you know what it means.
He will force a smile as he combs his hair and pours his cereal.
You will squeeze his little hand a little tighter as you walk him from the car to the front door of his classroom. The lump in your throat can’t be swallowed as you kiss him goodbye.
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When your last child goes to school, you will breathe a sigh of relief.
She spent many days—late mornings and sleepless nights—taking care of everyone day and night. Now, your schedule will change.
You will come home from the drop off and drink your coffee while it is still warm.
Life will still be busy, but maybe now you’ll be able to find the occasional hour to read that book that’s been sitting unopened all year in your bedroom, or meet a friend for coffee.
You will have a little peace in your days. You pray that more balance will come again, so that when it’s 4 o’clock and the kids walk in the door, you can give yourself full attention instead of doing a million things like you did when they were all at home.
When your last child goes to school, you will hear the closing of a chapter.
She’s out of the diaper and bottle stage, but she still has a toddler at home. You still feel like you are “having a baby”. . . but now it cannot be denied how he has grown.
The season of having a tag for many days is coming to an end. 24/7 will turn into afternoons, evenings, weekends, and summer.
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You will miss your children. You’ll look back on the days of working with yellow-tinted glasses, almost forgetting how demanding they were.
When your last child goes to school, you will worry.
Although he is no longer a child, he is still one yours the baby—the tiniest and tiniest one and the one you’re probably clinging to the most.
You will think about him all day and wonder how he is. Do you make friends? Do you share with others? Are you comfortable with the teacher? Do you miss her like you miss her?
And then you will remind yourself that you have moved on to goodness, and you still have this.
You will look at the people your children are becoming, and your heart will swell because gosh dang-ba so wonderful.
You will be amazed at how smart and funny and talented they are.
You will think of all the days you spent by their side. All the things they taught you and everything they taught you there.
When your last child goes to school, you will be happy and sad and proud and emotional and worried and happy and all things.
It’s a big change for him, and maybe an even bigger change for you.
When your last child goes to school, he will be alive—and so will you. I promise you.