This is the first full week of school.
My house is silent, eerily so.
Perhaps I should be joyful at this change, this rite of passage, with my six year old now a big girl, a full fledged first grader. I'm not sure yet.
Once again, my youngest child changed my status.
I have been a full-time domestic engineer since May 2003 when I was one of several who were let go in that summer bloodbath, back in the early days of this economic downturn, recession, depression, or whatever it has been for all these years. I was also two months pregnant with my not-wanting-to-be-forty-and-pregnant surprise gift from God.
The last month of school was surprising and cool. I got to see what all the other full-time mommies did. I met the bus for my then nine year old son and hosted many after school soirees between him and his buddies. That first summer was even cooler with the lazy days and Missouri heat resting on us like a wet blanket. There were many, many days spent at the pool with the then toddler sister and the big boys. We lounged in the TV room and watched all the kid shows I had only heard about. I dusted off my cooking skills and was definitely caught up on laundry.
By the time December 2003 and baby girl made her afternoon appearance on the 1st, I was well trained in my new role.
The economy continued to drag on in certain industries and when she presented with major illnesses by the time of her first birthday in 2004, I moved my business suits to the back of the closet, packed up the high heels, filed away the resume, and filled my planner with playdates, library trips, and school activities, I was a full-time mom.
It is funny how seven years flies by.
The oldest two are living their lives as young adults, one is recently engaged. The youngest son is now a junior in high school trying to cut these strings and says "mom, let me handle it," when I gave him advice about organizing his study area. The girls walked to the corner and crossed the street alone to go to the school. The baby girl took off running ahead of her big sister, eager to embrace the undiscovered mysteries of all day school. I stood by the van, parked in the middle of the block across from the school, and watched them grow up.
These things were running through my mind this morning when they were all packing their backpacks, grabbing lunches, running down the stairs to get in the van. All of them were chatting about the adventures awaiting them that day. I smiled to myself and wondered if I could capture the moment.
My house is quiet. I had a two hour meeting for the summer program. I brought a missing lunch to the first grader. And I mopped the kitchen floor.
This is the first time in seven years when I have been home, alone.
Now it is my turn to discover, investigate, and appreciate this new season.
It it is