With the back to school grind rearing it’s ugly head, I can’t decide how I’m feeling. For one I’m thinking, god damn, I’m going back to work this sucks. Another part of my sun and heat fried brain from this hot AF summer, is feeling so ready to go back and get back on a routine that involves eating normal portions of food and not just stuffing my face all day. But most of what I’m thinking about is my one and only baby boy, and by baby I mean soon to be 6 year old going into Kindergarten. I have no idea how I blinked and J was old enough to ride the school bus for the first time. It seems like only yesterday I was puking 3 times a day for nine months straight just to bring his cute little butt into this crazy world. This got me thinking about my  journey as a mommy so far.

No one can ever prepare you for what you’re signing up for when you buy that first ovulation test or decide in a drunken stupor that the pull out method works. Either way, parenthood is a blessing, pain in the ass, and extraordinary experience all rolled into one. From the days when you haven’t slept in a week and hate your husband/wife because they got a full two hours of sleep or you called peapod just to order milk, to the days when your baby suddenly came alive with a single giggle and was more than a pooping, eating, crying blob stealing your freedom. Now I know mine is only 5, but I feel like I’ve learned and seen so much at this point and I’m so excited to see what else he can do to push me over the edge all while still loving him unconditionally with every fiber of my being.

One of the biggest joys of being a mom, is seeing parts of me in J’s soul. Yes, there are parts of him that are his dad, sigh… But thankfully those parts are the parts that I loved about his dad at some point. Of course he looks like his mini me at times, but is also the spitting image of the 5 year old little terror known as Marcey. He is very smart like daddy, has his temper when he loses at a stupid board game and tosses it across the room, but is also loving and caring when he wants to be and loves all animals and the Yankees, (although I secretly buy him Mets gear any chance I get and pack it in his overnight bag). It makes me happy that he inherited some of the best of what his dad had to offer, even if  dad stopped offering it to me. But what makes me happiest is seeing myself in him. Like when I asked dad how their trip to Disney was going just one day in. His reply, “Well, he may look like me, but there is no doubt he is your child.” Meaning? He was a whining, complaining, hot, tried, cranky mess who didn’t feel like walking anymore and nothing made him happy. Yep that sounds like a throw back of me on our trip to Disney pre-marriage and baby 10 years ago. Luckily, J ended up enjoying the rest of their trip. I admit though, I was a little bit scared that he would return after a full week away from me, having lost his spiciness and no longer wanting to dance on the table to Bieber’s “One Dance” remix. Thankfully, he returned just the same spitfire as he was before he left, because it’s gonna take more than a week away from mommy to take the Marcey out of him.

My little boy once told me to do his hair before we left the house one morning because he wanted people to look at him. He also pouts in the corner if someone, anyone, adult, child, pet or houseplant even, takes their eyes off him for a split second. J wants to be the star. He has to be the only one who has that shirt, that limited edition train, knows what “konichiwa” means, when he hears that “I Don’t Mind” song and only one who can tell you how long it takes Amtrak’s Acela to get from D.C. to Boston. He makes me smile and laugh all day long even when I want to scratch my eyes out while hiding in the bathroom from him because I do not want to get him another yogurt drink or hear another word about Donatello, Raph, or diesel locomotives. As parents, we love our babies in spite of them driving us mad and falling to our knees not knowing how we are going to get through the day without a drink, never mind the next 18 years. But we do it because it’s an instinct we get as soon as that double pink line shows up for us and we think “Holy shit, what the hell did we do?”.

So as all you mommas and daddies prepare to send the little ones off to school this week, secretly singing Hallelujah in your head,  knowing it’s someone else job today to enlighten your kid and steer them on the right path without accidentally saying “shit” in front of them, and because you now have at least 8 hours to yourself even if it’s at stupid work, please don’t feel guilty. It’s totally okay to want your time alone or to want another responsible adult to teach your kid things so you can take a break. Because by the time noon hits, you’ll probably have thought about them a million times, wondered if they ate that gross cheese sandwich they cried for you to make them or worried if they wiped themselves correctly if they finally got the courage up to poop at school. You want to protect them from the asshole kid on the bus, or the kid who comes to school with green fluorescent boogers coming out of his nose. This is what we do, even if at times we want to just escape it all. My advice, enjoy it now. Take an obscene amount of pics like me, write down everything that you secretly laugh at that they say and do after you just sent them to their room for. Time flies, and we can’t get it back. I’m realizing that even more now as I pack my purse for tomorrow with a huge box of klenex knowing I’m going to break down when that bus rolls up. I know J will be fine and he’s of course going to be the most intelligent, most popular, best looking kid in Kindergarten, I have no doubts about that. I do, however, have my doubts about whether or not I’ll ever get the opportunity to do all this again, so I embrace every single moment and know my fellow parents are doing the same.

Good Luck!!

~”Mom of the year”