Many years ago, it was hard for me to imagine the day when all of my children would be in school.
When my fifth child was born, my eldest was six. At the time, I believe I had four car seats and a booster seat in my van. I say “I believe” because I was mostly in a fog. My sixth child arrived after what was an astronomical age gap for me—two and a half years.
We all know the expression about parenthood: “The years go quickly, but the days can last forever.” I remember having to fill the days—trips to the park, reading books, feeding them, changing diapers, managing nap schedules, fitting in doctor’s appointments around said naps. While most were joyful, on some of those days it felt like they would never end, especially the ones where I had been up all night with a baby with an ear infection or croup. I distinctly remember one six-day period where I had 18 hours sleep in total. It was during those days I never thought they’d all be in school.
But they are. This September I sent my kids off to JK, Grades 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. I always said on the day my last child went to school, I would host a champagne breakfast. And while I’ve certainly had sentimental moments and can hardly believe the time has come, I’m mostly excited about actually hosting a fancy champagne breakfast.
And host I did! With a house full of other parents celebrating this milestone, we ate pastries, drank champagne, and congratulated ourselves on having survived a house full of babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. There is no harder job in the world than staying home with small children. Absolutely none.
Has your last child gone off to school? How did you feel? Were you a crier? Did you tell them not to let the door hit them on the way out? For me it was bittersweet, but admittedly, mostly just sweet.