Apparently there is a lot of fear and trepidation in our home these days. But if you look hard enough you can find a silver lining.
At dinner tonight Aaron brought up the fact that he still wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Jeff responded by telling us he was going to be one of four things: a fireman, a construction worker, a something-I-can't-remember, or an audiologist. Aaron then hoped that Jeff would be an fireman so they could be together. When Jeff said he was really considering becoming an audiologist Aaron then decided he would be an audiologist too. He then turned to me and asked if I would be an audiologist so the four of us could be together. He seemed truly scared to be away from Jeff when he grows up. He said that he wanted to work with Jeff. We did our best to assure Aaron that even if he and Jeff work in different places, they will always be brother who love each other and his daddies will always love him too. While the actual fear and sadness was heartbreaking it was sweet to know how much he loves his family.
Jeff had some behavior problems today and this afternoon I sat him down and asked if he was feeling sad or mad or scared or angry. He said no to all of them. Then, after reflecting on his answers for a minute, he told me that he was scared about starting junior kindergarten in a couple days. His beautiful little eyes got wet and scared. I hugged him and told him that his brother would be with him as well as two friends we had met on the playground. I promised him that he will get to play new games, read new books, sing new songs, etc. I reminded him that we will get to visit the school as a family on Wednesday and see what his classroom will look like. I'm sure he is still scared about this new adventure, but it impressed me that he was able to actually verbalize his fear.
I'm scared too. As a parent of course I'm worried about my kids. They will in the youngest grade in the school and most likely they'll be the youngest kids in the class. It's their first time being in school all day. I'm nervous that they won't eat their lunch or that no one will help them open their yogurt. I'm worried that they won't make friends or that someone will pick on them. I hope they have a good teacher. I hope they learn a lot. I hope they have fun. I'm also wondering what life will look like for me when they are in school all day and how I can balance work and parenthood again.
I am looking forward to the summer ending and having time to do things for myself again. I believe I am a better parent when I have some of my pre-kid life back. I'll be performing in a show this fall and I'm sure I'll be able to figure out my work/life balance. But school starting is a realization that my boys are growing up, becoming independent and needing me less. I know I have been craving that most days, but it is bittersweet...well, let's say 10% bitter and 90% sweet. ;-)
Years from now, when my boys read this, they'll roll their eyes at this last part...
Every night, for as long as I can remember, I sneak into their room before I go to bed. I kiss each one on the head and most nights I tell myself that I will try to be a better parent the next day. I think about how they will always be my little men and how I hope they are happy. I know that in a few years they won't want kisses from me and they won't dance an impromptu hula dance in the kitchen with me to The Pina Colada Song like we did today. I want to protect their happy lives for as long as possible, but I know that we all must grow up and face the big, scary world at some point. Still, when my mom or dad tells me everything will be alright or sits down with me to eat a homemade chocolate chip cookie they still have the power to lessen my fears even just a little bit.