3 weeks. That's what I have left of Natalie being home with me full time, all the time.
3 weeks: That's when Natalie will start Nursery School: 5 days a week, for 2 1/2 hours a day.
Though a part of me is sad, and amazed that I'm finding myself with a "school-aged" child already, I am also counting down the days. Partly for me to have a little break, but mostly for her. These days of having Christopher, nursing, and work really piling up for me, I feel like I'm constantly treading water; just barely keeping my head above water, and if I stop or slack at all, I'll drown. I've been resorting to the tv and iPad a ton with her, and I know she'll be better off in school. I also know she's more than ready - she loves learning: Spelling and the alphabet are her favorite things in the world. She's going to love school. (and if the teachers can get her disciplined a bit more, then an extra bonus for me!)
It sounds silly when I say it - this is after all, Nursery School. I am talking about a 2 1/2 year old starting school but I really do feel like her first day of school is officially the first day of the rest of our lives. For the next 14+ years, this is the school our lives will revolve around. This is the school our children will attend from nursery school through 8th grade (Barring any problems or reasons to move them to a new school). This is where they make their life-long friends - this is where we will meet new potential friends. This is the school Natalie will attend the Father/Daughter dance with Chris every year, where I'll attend the Mother/Son bowling night every year with Christopher. This is the school that we'll attend graduation ceremonies, school plays, holiday celebrations, where I'll send birthday cupcakes, where we'll do fundraising activities, where they'll laugh, cry, and create the foundation and memories that they'll take with them for the rest of their lives.
I know, I know....I'm talking about nursery school. Maybe it would be different if this was a little school she was going to until she started PreK or Kindergarten somewhere different in a few years. But because this is the school she'll be at for the foreseeable future, it's kind of a big deal. Scratch that: It IS a big deal.
And so, the night before she starts school; the night before I take her "Natalie's First day of Nursery School" picture on the front porch, where we'll take these pictures every year after; The night before Chris and I walk her into the school building with her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse backpack; I too, will lay out my "first day of school" outfit; feel the excited jitters; and probably have trouble falling asleep, just as if I was back in elementary school myself. Who knew parents felt this way too?!
And so, the adventure begins...