Who doesn’t love a baby? I write them into stories all the time–snuggly newborns with swirls of baby curls and earnest dedication to draining bottles. I love to write about babies, with their squirms and their yawns… even their cries and their diapers. But I have to confess, I’m past the baby stage in my personal life.
At 37, there are still plenty of women my age having babies, but I’m not in their ranks. I have a school-aged son, and I’m very happy with life on this side of parenting. And here is why:
- I don’t get woken up at night anymore. And sleep is a beautiful thing!
- Interesting conversations with my 8-year-old. He notices the world around him, thinks about ethical issues and is generally an interesting little person.
- Tantrums are a thing of the past.
- Diapers are a thing of the past.
- 6 hours a day all to myself to focus on my own career while he’s in school.
- Grocery shopping no longer requires a lot of preparation and anxiety.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. When your kid(s) enter into the school stage of things, you have a whole new level of freedom that you forgot even existed, and I love it.
So when I hear that someone is expecting a baby, I feel truly happy for them–they are in for an amazing adventure filled with love and exhaustion. But when I hear that someone’s child is about to start school, that’s where I start to get excited on their behalf. There is just as much love, but now there’s some freedom, too!
I feel like there should be greeting cards for these occasions: Congratulations on sending your last child to school! You have no idea how awesome this is going to be!
Maybe even a Going to School shower where the mother gets traditional gifts that are for her exclusively: a journal to write in, a pile of books to read, scented candles, and maybe even a commemorative hour glass to count the hours until school is over again. It’s important to celebrate the milestones, don’t you think?
We need to make this a thing, ladies. I think I might be onto something! 🙂