I thought I’d go back in time to the year I began writing my weekly newspaper column. This column shows me as a harried mother of three young children. Hope you enjoy this memory.
September 4, 1980
He put on his
jacket as he turned away from me. Heartlessly, he ignored the tears in my eyes
as he went out without a backward glance.
Without pride, I followed a few steps behind
him. He was leaving me today and there was nothing I could do to keep him by my
side. Robby was going to kindergarten.
Many a day this
past summer, as I pulled at my hair thinking of answers to his never-ending
line of questions, I looked forward to this day. Someone else would now have a
chance to try to answer his questions. I would have a breather, if only for a
few hours a day. (No one told me that in
a few years, the baby in my arms, Russell, would have even more questions.)
But now he is
actually leaving and I’m not rejoicing as planned.
Robby is not like
my impression of the usual first-timer. He is not clinging to his mother,
crying as if he is being abandoned. No, he is raring to go. He’s grown up … too
grown up. He doesn’t need me anymore!
Today, I again give
him into the hands of strangers. A short time ago, the stranger was the
dentist. That was for all of a half-hour with me fidgeting in the outer office.
He survived that experience better than his overly nervous mother.
This time I won’t
be in the next room. I’ll be miles away from my little boy.
I won’t be there even
if he cried. I’m sure he won’t—that is, if he doesn’t trip over his own feet
and fall down.
I won’t be near if
a big kid picks on my innocent 5-year-old. He’ll just have to learn to stick up
for himself. He has to grow up sometime. BUT IF ANY HOODLUM EVER DID TOUCH A
HAIR ON HIS HEAD…
I also won’t be
around when Robby accomplishes a learning feat. I’ll just have to wait until he
runs through the front door, waving his paper proudly.
I watched him climb
on the bus and I sniffle. “I’m alone…” There’s a tug on my arm. Becky looks
I pat her head and
say, “You’ll get to go to school when you’re five, Honey.”
“I know that. But
Mommy, when will Baby Russell quit eating my coloring book? Will he get a
bellyache if he eats a crayon? Can I help you clean up the kitchen floor?
Russell made me spill my milk. Does the baby like milk on his head?…”
What am I thinking
about? I’m not alone. It’s two long years before Becky marches off to
kindergarten (730 days to go) and five years before Russell follows (1,825 days
I don’t have time
for tears. I have to hurry to get something done before Robby gets home. He’ll
only be gone a few hours.
Rebecca came by today and offered to drive me to Art Street in Green Bay. Though my sciatica was bothering me, I decided to go for the outing.
We had to park on the 6th level of the parking garage. The elevator was busy with all the people going up and down, I decided to walk down, and then we walked around Art Street. I hadn’t been there in years. It was so much fun.
As we prepared to head home, Rebecca decided to get cheese from a vendor at the farmer’s market (two events makes a HUGE crowd). She said to stand in line for the elevator and she would catch up after getting the cheese.
Well, I stood in line and stood in line. Eventually, I started the climb up, as did a group of other ladies waiting for the elevator.
I took my time, one step at a time. Since I was slow, I stood aside when others needed to me.
Rebecca caught up to me when I reached the third floor–halfway home.
Eventually, I paused and took a photo out a window.
This is from the parking garage fifth-floor landing. It’s of the Farmer’s Market, but looks very much like Art Street from this height.
I made it to the car without a problem, but I think I’ve had enough exercise for today. Time to sit and catch up on some reading.