This month we enter a new phase of life.  My baby boy will be going to kindergarten.  I will drop all three of our children off at school and return to an empty home.  Sniff.  For my son’s sake, I am trying to act excited about this big step for him.  But the past four years have gone by too quickly.  I feel a bit cheated out of time, since he did not come into our family until he was 16 months old.  This morning, as we snuggled on the couch with our children, I wanted to freeze time.

Four years ago, I sent my first child off to kindergarten.  I was able to keep my composure as I left the building, blinking as quickly as I was walking.  I heard a friend call out my name and wrapped my arms around her as she sobbed.  I invited her to my home for coffee; neither one of us wanting to go home without our daughters.  Unmade beds and dishes on the counter could wait.  We enjoyed our time together that morning, adjusting to this stage.

The next year, I decided to be proactive when taking my next child to kindergarten.

On orientation day I handed out coffee invitations and directions to my home.

I invited a few moms I already knew, but sought out moms who were bringing their children to kindergarten for the first time.  Several boxes of tissues were placed strategically around my living room.  Fourteen women arrived, some of them complete strangers to me.  A few tears were shed, but new friendships were formed and playdates planned.

I am now planning my next kindergarten coffee. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I will meet other mothers with whom I will be planning future class parties and going on field trips. In a new town with new friendships to be forged.  And this time the dishes will be done before they arrive!