Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Free Time

I just dropped off my last child, for our last "first day of preschool."
I remember Megan's first day of preschool like it was yesterday. And now here we are 12 years later.

Drew was excited. The big kids had already gone back to school 2 days earlier, and the wait for today has been like the wait for Christmas morning. I don't think the fact we were running late had anything to do with Drew's reason to run ahead of me. He couldn't get in that classroom fast enough to unzip his backpack and hand his teacher the handsoap and Mickey Mouse box of kleenex.

I was surprised at my lack of emotion, despite the fact I'm not even sure he said goodbye to me. He was full of confidence as he walked into his second and final year of pre-school. He knows this year he's "one of the big kids getting ready for kindergarten" among the mixed class of 3 and 4 year olds.

As I walked to my car, feeling a little rushed about my next place to be, I ran into an old friend from college who had just dropped off her child to the preschool. We briefly did the typical brief intro chit-chat thing, "How many kids?" "How old is your youngest?" Her youngest is one, she then said to me, "How old is your youngest?"

My response surprised even myself, as I pointed to the preschool door and said, "Four. He's my youngest."

She replied, "Lucky you!  You've got some free time."

I didn't really feel lucky.

As I drove away, I thought of all those days, weeks, months and years that have passed from when Megan first started preschool in January 2002 to now, August 2013. I still wasn't feeling lucky. I was feeling rewarded.

"You've got some free time."

You bet!
And I've earned every second of it.

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