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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's still summer, but I've got back-to-school on the brain

As much as I'm trying to savor every minute of summer and the joy that this fair and fleeting season brings with it, I'm never far from the thought that my only son is off to Kindergarten this Fall. It's going to happen, whether I like it or not.

I do like, don't get me wrong. He's worked up to this moment. His entire pre-school class is rehearsing their graduation songs and he's really into being 'big'. So what's the problem?

His life is changing. Mine is, too.

I've changed my work schedule to be more in line with Kindergarten hours. It's a big change after having him in daycare for the last five years for ten hours a day (and me at the office for ten hours, too). He'll have a shorter day. I will, too. He'll be carrying his own backpack, fending for himself in the lunch line, shuffling from classroom to classroom, riding the bus - gasp! It's a lot to take in for a mom who likes doing things for her kiddo. In the mornings lately, he's been standing at the door saying "Let's go mom. Come on!" and at school the other day he actually said "You're good to go, mom". No lingering in his classroom or extra kisses and hugs needed. I was GOOD-TO-GO.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I'm ready for a truly independent, confident child, who needs me on a need-to-know basis. Of course it's what I should want. In fact, my husband and I have raised him to think for himself, do for himself, and to be a well-mannered boy. He just never "bought in" until now.

While my husband was in Houston this week, my son put on his clothes, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, put away his toys (without me asking) and engaged in all sorts of well-mannered behavior. He held open the door for me and "other ladies" at school, asked to be excused from the table without being prompted to do so and cleared his own plate. For three days in a row he kept up this routine. Are you kidding me?

Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect. What he most definitely IS is a soon-to-be Kindergartner with a new found sense of pride in his own ability. He's growing up. And until now, I didn't get the message that as his mom I need to "grow up", too.

What I know for sure is that come this September, the leaves won't be the only things falling. This mom's going to shed a few tears.

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