In my Facebook feed over the last couple of weeks, just about every parent I know has posted pictures of their kids heading back to school. You guys have some cute kiddos, you know that? And I can't help but hope I'll be around long enough to see Quinn off to second, third, fourth grade, to his first day of high school, to his high school graduation.
This time of year used to be my favorite. Back to school signaled new beginnings, and the crispness in the air was a sign that the holidays were just around the corner. But there is no crispness in the air here; in fact, it was a whopping 110 degrees out today, so maybe that's why this time of year seems harder for me lately.
Or maybe it's the impending autumnal equinox. Although I really think it's the damn heat. I walked into Safeway the other day, saw Halloween decorations and endless buckets of candy, and had to stop to think about what month it was. I had to remind myself that it's okay--Halloween is next month, after all. They're not jumping the gun (unlike the Christmas displays going on in Costco that started last month; that's just ridiculous). To Safeway's credit, it's not still mid-summer, even though it feels like it is.
And although we'll be a month behind schedule, next month we're switching Quinn out of daycare and into a preschool a bit closer to our house. This new school follows the Reggio Emilia approach, which as far as I can tell just means they emphasize play as a way to learn. The children assist in growing their own garden and raising chickens (once the weather cools down). And starting at age three, the school offers Spanish enrichment as part of its curriculum.
We have the option of either five hours a day or nine, three days a week, and at Chris' urging, we chose the longer days. Because I am exhausted--from chemo, from this heat, from parenting an active toddler who no longer naps--and embarrassed to admit that being a stay-at-home-mom is so much harder than I anticipated it would be.
When you have a baby, everyone advises you to treasure every moment. That is a big task, and it's hard to enjoy every single second when you are exhausted, when you've been up all night with an inconsolable baby, when your heart aches because you've got incurable cancer. On the other hand, I know intimately well that my time with Quinn is limited and I want to make the most of it.
I hope I'm making the right decision--one that will give me more time to rest so that I'm able to keep up with Quinn a little better, one that will give him room to learn in ways I'm not capable of creating (because I've forgotten most of my Spanish and am not willing to raise chickens, you see). Mostly, I hope Quinn will be happy.