They had to be, because I needed to work my usual three days a week. I work from home but as an engineer and a salaried employee I try to keep consistent office hours so that all my colleagues back the main office in North Carolina can reach me when they need me. It's not like freelance or home business stuff where I can work nights and weekends. I wouldn't want to anyway.
Fortunately my kids love school. My baby was very excited about starting Kindergarten at the same school as his big brother. Big brother was proud to show Alex all the ins and outs of the school and the routine.
But I wouldn't be a mom if I didn't ever experience a tinge of guilt or second guessing. Today's tinge is because my Alex only just turned five a couple weeks ago. He barely makes the cut-off and might be the youngest in his class.
I've had scores of other parents tell me how they would hold him back and wait a year if they were me. Parents of boys with spring birthdays who waited a year just to be sure their kid wouldn't fall behind.
But if I wait a year, he gets stuck in daycare another year. That's not good for either of us. I have the gigantic bill associated with it and he gets little to no academic teaching. He wants to learn to read in the worst way. He's great at writing and has excellent social skills. He'll always be the tallest kid in class no matter how old he is.
So I haven't even questioned whether or not he should go because he seems very ready.
Until today, when walking him to his classroom among the chaos of kids and parents got confusing. We walked to the door he will usually enter every morning, which of course is at the complete opposite side of the monstrous school from his classroom. We were redirected to the front door because parents must enter there for the first three days to walk their kids to class.
I immediately thought about what's going to happen three days from now when he goes to the back door and has to find his way on his own, down a totally different path. I picture my five year old wandering aimlessly, very confused. I know there will be teachers and helpers to show him the way, but as a mom it just gives me that twinge of second guessing. He's so little!
In the end I know he'll be fine. He's a quick learner with an excellent innate sense of direction.
If we weren't in the process of adopting, I'd be much more sentimental and sad about my baby growing up. But I know I have another child on her way who will go through the whole process too. I'm looking forward to that.
The toughest part about this week isn't for my kids, it's for me. Because they're now in school five days a week, I can and will work five days a week. I'm taking a fifty percent increase in hours and pay with an eye on funding our adoption and building some savings so that I can comfortably take time off when our daughter does come home.
But our school district did away with our bus transportation which means I have to walk the kids to and from school each day, cutting into my work day by an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. It leaves less flexibility than I had last year. I'm losing my gym time and grocery shopping time. I'll have to squeeze those in on nights and weekends like other working mothers.
I don't have to work, but I love to work. I love the company I work for, the people I work with, and the job I do helping protect and provide clean water around the world. For me, this adjustment is worth it.