This Year Back-To-School Means Off-To-Kindergarden (insert crying)

We got our back to school packets in the mail this weekend. Normally, I’m all HOORAY! and HOLY CRAP SCHOOL STARTS THAT DAY? WHY THAT DAY? I SHOULD BE IN CHARGE. But this year is different because my oldest, my little boy, my E, goes to kindergarten.

I actually don’t mind the kindergarten part. He’s reading and writing and math-ing so I’m excited for him to learn more fun facts about the world. I can’t wait for him to understand science and culture and how to not to put stickers on anything but paper.

What gets me about our school is the FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN. He’ll be gone for 6 hours a day, which almost half his time awake everyday. Mostly, I can’t believe how much I’m going to miss him.

{choke sob breathe}

He’s still my little baby, and it’s hard to not feel like needs to be home with his mama.


He’s not exactly that tiny anymore.

He can’t wait for kindergarten, at least in between making awesome Lego trucks.

I also feel strange about being a stay-at-home mom with his impending kindergarten-hood since I hadn’t planned to stay at home. Of course, I haven’t completely done the stay home part very well with my writing and teaching and speaking, but I’ve mostly planned work around my kids schedule, and I’ve said no to many more things than I’ve said yes. Yet I still feel time stretch before me, and, even with my busy life, it feels unfillable.

A good friend listened to me fret and responded: I had no idea your children were going to college in the fall.

Because E is only in kindergarten. He is still little and new to the world and needs me — just in a different way. My son’s newfound time away may make me watch my daughter with new eyes, too. But in this moment, N is only 3 years old. Yes, I will have a few more minutes to myself this school year, but those take me from not getting things done to barely getting things done.

Perhaps, I don’t have to rush off to find my place in the world post-SAHM, but I feel it coming, or at least I feel my children going. I am excited for them, and working on being excited for me and this terrible thing called CHANGE.

To celebrate (and mourn) back-to-school, Late Enough teamed up with nTelos Wireless to give away a $50 iTunes gift card

Mandatory Entry:

  • Leave a comment on how you feel about back-to-school whether you’re going, your kids are going or your town is about to be overrun by students (yes, I used to live in Charlottesville, Virginia)

Additional entries (must be left as separate comments to count and remember if you already do them, they count BUT still need be left as separate comments):

This giveaway ends on Wednesday, August 8 at 11:59 p.m. E.S.T..

The giveaway is opened to U.S. residents only. The winner will be chosen by, emailed within 7 days of the end of the giveaway and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. This giveaway is void where prohibited and is not affiliated with Facebook. Official Rules.

Disclaimer: This post and giveaway is sponsored by nTelos Wireless because they are psyched to offer, now through August 31st, nTelos’ “Buy Out Your Contract” with up to $175 credit per line with a new 2 year agreement plus reduced prices on smartphones such as select Androids and Blackberries (one cent!), iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S ( $49.99 to $149.99) and Samsung Showcase ($49.99). I received compensation for this post, but the pains of my children growing up are true and surprising even to me.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

25 thoughts to “This Year Back-To-School Means Off-To-Kindergarden (insert crying)”

  1. Back to school is bittersweet for me. My daughter doesn’t start kindergarten until next year but now I feel like there is a timer above her head ticking down the moments we have left until she grows up. I fret about missing out on moments with her. On the other hand I’m excited about all her new experiences – and sharing those with her. I want her to see the world but I also want to see her see the world. I also worry about whether I have enjoyed the past 4 years as much as I should have or am expected to have. I went back to college when she was 6 mos old and I feel like I missed out on a lot having to balance school, work and life. All I can hope is in the end she is happy and is full of happy memories from these times together. I know my life is better with my daughter in it. Even if I don’t remember all the special moments I know that I am a better person because of her.

  2. Watching my eldest board the bus headed for kindergarten was hard! He was so more than ready though…he was just so little! Now he’s about to go into 2nd grade and my youngest is heading into pre-k. I think next year when they both get on the bus I’m going to be an emotional wreck! I’m slowly easing into the post-SAHM world…it’s a little scary, a little exciting…I have to remind myself of all of the other challenges I’ve faced and overcome. We can do this!

  3. Your Baybeeeee! That can be a tough one for mom to swallow. I’ll be sending hugs your way.

    Back to school time leaves me shrouded in guilt. My youngest will be starting third grade (holy timewarp!), and I’m still home while they’re at school. I feel like it’s time I pull on my big girl pants and get some kind of job while they’re at school. Also, having more money would be awfully nice.

  4. This year my oldest also begins Kindergarten. I am so excited for him, and yet I am sad that it’s happening now when my life is so busy. I also start back to school in the fall for my Junior Year at Nursing School. I’m a single parent so I work FT as well. This means 3 12 hour shifts at the hospital and the other 4 days at class. I will not have any days to take off to go on field trips or volunteer in the classroom or come eat lunch with him. So I know he will have the time of his life this next year and new doors will be opened for him, but I will not be there to see it. Hopefully, he will come home and in the late evenings when I actually will have a moment with him, he will remember enough about his day to share with me.

  5. We can cry together… my oldest is starting his senior year in high school. Luckily, he is sensitive enough to allow me to feel needed sometimes! My next to youngest will be starting preschool… where did the time go? There are so many more fabulous things I need to teach them!

  6. I work at [a large urban university that shall remain unnamed] and here’s how I feel: every year the kids get younger! I wouldn’t be surprised to see your son walk through the door.

    Or maybe it’s just me getting older? Naa.

  7. I am excited for the extra “down” time but my kids are still in preschool. I am however sad because my daughter will be in her last year so thinking about her starting “big girl school” next year just seems so close. I am sure I will still cry on her first day back, because it will be her last first day of preschool, I am such a sap.

  8. Oh, wow, back to school time for our house right now means a bunch of things. It means me getting to do my “daddy walk to school” each morning with my oldest; he’s starting 2nd grade now, and our few minutes’ walk to school together is going to continue to be important bonding time. We talk about what it means to be a good student, a good person, a friend and helper to others, and so on; it wouldn’t surprise me to start hearing some hard questions from him this year. It means our middle son is starting 5-day preschool, so he’ll be even more immersed in learning and growing with other kids his age. Hes’ got a lot to learn and do. And it means that my wife will now have all of her mornings with just our 1yo, which will give her some much-needed relief after what has been a crazy summer.

    I guess you could say that we’re looking forward to back to school.

  9. My son is still too young for us to directly experience back-to-school blues. But, because kids in his daycare will be leaving for kindergarten, it means a lot of the daycare kids move up to the next level, my son included. Just the other day, I was noticing that he no longer needs to be held by one of the teachers when I leave. He might protest a little, but nothing a kiss from mommy can’t cure. Slow down, kiddo, slow down!

  10. I feel like I’m going to cry! I’m so excited for him but also he’s getting old to fast! Slow it down immediately! Hahah
    Oh and you better take lots of pics of the 1st day at school!!

  11. Kindergarten. Ah yes, a defining moment for all. Moms take it especially hard. I went through the threshold three times (no..four times). I really don’t remember my oldest child’s First Day. I do remember being labeled a bad parent for not wanting him to be taught in Spanish. Timmy launched in Germany. Along with everything else he had to negotiate a bus route in a foreign country. I made a special ID tag in two languages to make sure he made it home. It was like launching a robot at Mars and hoping everything will work. Ten years later, I launched him at ninth grade and he got off the bus in the wrong part of Las Vegas and we launched a rescue mission before he got mugged or worse. Tim also has the family distinction of flunking kindergarten. You had to know how to spell your name to get into first grade. “Timothy” was just too daunting. The next year his teacher (God Bless Her) taught him how to spell “Tim”. Then there was Rosie. On her first day Mom and Dad walked her to school. At the classroom door, with Mom crying and me in a full blown panic attack, she turned to us and said, “It’s okay. I’ve got this”. She turned and marched in to class with a backpack bigger than she was. In all the paper and pencils and glue she had secreted a full box of band aids and became the self-appointed class nurse. Famous for bandaging cuts and scrapes she really was hiding her fear of blood. For years we could hold her in check by saying “Don’t do that, there’ll be blood”.

  12. My daughter still has another year of preschool, and I’m already stressed about full day kindergarten the following year. It wasn’t “the plan” when she started school last year, and the district changed it to full-day, so I am trying to wrap my head around it. Good luck to your little man. And to you, of course 🙂

  13. We did Kindergarten last year, and now this year, seeing the new class of Kinders as we walk to the first grade wing of the school makes me nostalgic. (We have year round school, so the new school year started for us last week.)

    I cried that first day at drop off after she went in to the classroom. But this year I was stronger! Also, last year it took my daughter a good two weeks to adjust to Kindergarten, and this year she was a pro by the third day.

  14. We are now t minus 1 year before all this happens to us.. I don’t have a clue how it works, and I think I am stressing over it already. I too am excited for C to take on new challenges, he enjoys learning about the world and I can’t wait to see how much he grows. On the flip side of it, what happens to family vacations? Can we still go on vacation during the school year to show him the world too, not just let him learn about it in a classroom…

  15. My oldest just finished kindergarten and is about to start first grade! The time away is the hardest. That, and the inevitable first couple of snafu’s that will happen. Having to let go and trust the teacher and her ability to react or discipline or just navigate the situation in a way you feel is even just satisfactory is a huge leap of faith. And if you are like me, you will overreact once, twice, maybe even three times before you can trust, but it will be ok. And your son will learn and do amazing things and love it. And you will find your peace with it, and maybe even a few less stickers on stuff too!

  16. When I was driving my first born to college 20 minutes away (to VCU) I started yelling things like, be careful who you hang out with, make sure they are good people. Don’t hang out with people who will get you into trouble. Don’t have sex with someone unless you really care about them. Make sure you keep up with you school work. Blah, blah, blah. He said, Mom, what are you doing? I’m only going 20 minutes away. I told him all of a sudden I realized there were so many things I still need to tell him and I couldn’t believe I was taking him to college (20 minuters away). It felt like I had just watched him get on the school bus for the first time for kindergarten a few days before….

  17. I know the feeling very well! When K started going for a full day last year, I just couldn’t believe it. It was weird enough when he started school, and he started learning things that I DIDN’T TEACH HIM, but then to have him gone for a full day was bizarre. I also started wondering what in the heck I was going to do when *both* of my kids were in school for a full day– can I justify being a stay-at-home mom when my kids aren’t actually around? Uhhh…. Anyway, K handled it beautifully, and I know E will, too– and you will! 🙂

    Also, I’m totally overwhelmed by options for entering this contest… we’ll see how many of them I can do. Hehe.

  18. i can’t wait for school to begin again! my youngest starts pre-k (which is all day) this year & my oldest will be in 3rd grade. i’m not in any rush to get summer over with, trying to cherish the time, but i’m planning to start job hunting once school starts, so i’m excited.

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