Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just for Pretend

Yesterday marked the first day of first grade for my eldest daughter. About two days before, she started complaining that her stomach hurt. The first time she said it, I didn't think much of it since it didn't stop her from doing anything, but with each subsequent complaint I realized that she was a little bit scared of her first day of all-day school. She's a pretty easy going and very social kid, so to see her nervous was a little bit sweet in that it showed a consciousness I didn't realize she had yet.

I'm so glad I took the whole day off. As much as this day was about her, it was about me too. It was my "Pretend Day." I got to pretend I didn't ever have to go back to work and leave my babies, that I was the same person I was two years ago when flip-flops were my daily wear and sunshine was something my skin embraced. I got to love everything about being a stay-at-home mom. Taking a snotty nose wipe on my shirt would have been a badge of honor. I don't know if it was my imagination or not, but I swear my kids minded me better, held my hand tighter and laughed more. Don't get me wrong, they also stopped doing all those things periodically through the day just to ground me. And, for the record, I also remember--but chose to shelve, that being a stay-at-home mom has it's really tough days too when going to work looks pretty good. Yesterday I got to live out the best of the best.

Yesterday morning we all loaded up the stroller and walked to school with all the neighborhood kids, me yelling the whole time "Too far!" and "Wait for me!" just like before. Once we got there I saw familiar mom faces and we had a chance to chat about the coming year. I watched the clock all day excited to hear about her very first day. I live close enough to the school that I can hear the recess and lunch bells. I wondered if she was making any new friends, if her lunch looked as good to her as the other kids' and if her uneasiness had finally subsided. I cleaned my house, played with my kids, started a roast and I pretended that I had all the time in the world. I got to pretend that this day was my everyday and that it would never end.

Once we headed to school to pick her up, the fantasy didn't end. She ran to me looking tired and I got to lean down and give her a reassuring hug and ask her how her day went. Of couse it went great and I got to hear about all fun things she saw and did fresh from her mind. We met up with our neighboring family and we all walked home together chatting until it was time to part ways towards our own homes. When the baby went to sleep the big kids got to line up chairs and help me mix and bake cookies. By the end of the day, the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies permeated the house and everyone was happy.

I know that these things are all so simple, but it's these things that I most ache for. Not in a million years would I have thought that the life I just described would be what I pray for, plead for, hope for and play the lottery for. I couldn't sleep last night. I didn't want my Pretend Day to end. Finally at 1:00am I knew I had to let the day go and be thankful I had it. Just so there's no mistake (ha!), I am so thankful I had this first day of school.


  1. That was so brought tears to my eyes. I am glad that you had a great first day of school also and you were able to enjoy your day to the fullest. You deserve that and so much more!
    K. A.

  2. this post is gold! so glad you had this day too! your story, and the telling are truly and easy, like a summer afternoon breeze. great job!