The last few months of the school year, a teacher friend of mine has done Monday Morning Countdowns on Facebook. "5 Monday Wakeups Until School is Out" she posts.
So I decided to do my own countdown.
8 Monday Wakeups. Eight.
8 Monday Wakeups until I don't get to choose what Bjorn does for the day; whether he goes to the park or the library or the gym is not for me to say.
8 Monday Wakeups with my firstborn by me day in and day out.
8 Monday Wakeups until he is in school five days a week, 40 weeks a year for the next 13 years. More if he chooses college and a graduate degree.
8 Monday Wakeups until school rules our days and our life and our plans.
8 Monday Wakeups of little hands pulling off the covers and a little voice piping out "Mommy, can you get up and get me a snack? And can I watch PBS kids?" Soon I will wake to an alarm at 5:30 am so that I can get him to school by the 7:40 start time. (Seriously. Why can't school start at 9:30?!)
8 Monday Wakeups before he begins thriving and learning in a structured classroom, with his peers and friends.
Since he turned 3, he has asked almost every month - if not more - if he could go to school. 8 Monday Wakeups more and he will finally begin kindergarten, just like he has wanted.
On days when he won't stop whining, or "accidentally" hitting his sister, or bugging me to watch TV or play the Wii or build him a Lego house (but not like that, he says. No! The red piece has to go on the yellow piece and the green piece goes under that one and do we even have any black pieces?). On days when he won't stop talking, and he follows me into the bathroom, perching on the tub so he can finish his story while I pee. On days when we play hockey for what feels like hours, and then it's time to play baseball, and then he wants to throw the frisbee.....on those days, I have longed for kindergarten.
I admit it.
I wanted him to go to kindergarten - to give me a break, a minute, a breath.
But only for a minute. Then I want him back.
Now, I have 8 Monday Wakeups before he will begin his school career, before he will be taught for 8 hours a day by teachers and peers, by situations and by books.
A wise colleague once told me something I will never forget. "The days are long, but the years are short."
I had the last five years, I have a lifetime and I only have 8 more Monday Wakeups. The years are, indeed, short.