When we prepared to send our oldest off to school full time this fall, I racked my brain about all the ways I could prepare my new kindergartener for the transition. I had also mentally and emotionally prepared myself for my wingman of 5 years being gone all day. But, I failed to realized just how much having him gone all day would have a huge impacted on not just him, but for all of us.
I knew I had a sentimental tug in my heart about sending my baby back to school full time. I predicted tears from myself. How did I miss the fact that my middle child would have a huge adjustment period too? In hindsight, it all makes sense.
Our middle has always had the comfort and security of having big brother around. His whole life, he’s had his older brother to not only entertain him, but be his friend and safety net. Now, he often wakes up after his big brother is already off to school, and spends the majority of the day without him. He’s learning how to navigate social interactions throughout the day without big brother as his support system.
I failed to see how much our middle child would MISS his big brother. A hole I didn’t realize would be there in his day, was gaping wide that first week. I struggled to fill that void for him, but I wasn’t able to be the quick fix I tried to be. I love their relationship and I love that they are so close, but that was a blessing and a curse as the school year began. Hudson missed Mason. Plain and simple. And there just wasn’t much I could do to take his place.
Isn’t this always the case in parenting? We worried ourself sick about the big changes in our kids’ lives, but it’s the stuff we forget to plan for that blindsides us. I totally missed planning for the transition of being Mama to the two youngest. A new dynamic. A good new dynamic, but it’s taking some tweaking on my end for sure.
I didn’t realize that my younger two would now need me in different ways without their big brother around.
Now that we’re in the swing of this new back to school routine for our family, it’s time to devote and focus on the two younger boys for the majority of my day. My attention is now “only” split by two for the majority of the day instead of being split by 3. That’s a huge change for us all! I play differently with my middle alone than I do when his big brother is around. And, I already feel our relationship growing and changing. Games and activities are now geared towards a different age range, and I’m able to give the younger two the things I did for their older brother at their age.
After preschool began this fall, our youngest now gets my FULL attention. Something he’s just now experiencing for the first time in his life. When he was born, our boys had one week left in preschool before summer break. So for the majority of his existence in the outside world, he’s had to share Mama. Now that our middle is in part-time preschool, I get to dive deep into growing my bond with my littlest guy.
So, back to school has been bittersweet in more ways than I expected. There has been a lot of changes for our family, but I foresee good things coming from the transitions. I look forward to watching the boys grow and learn while their off at school. And, I treasure the few hours where I get precious one on one time with each of my boys.