Amidst all the buzz over her movie Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts is dealing with one of the same memorable milestones moms across the country are dealing with -- sending her children to school for the first time.
And like most of us, she's not finding it all that easy.
Twins Phineas and Hazel, 5, will be starting school while her 3-year-old Henry will still be at home.
"Am I finding it hard? Yes and no. I think it's bittersweet, I'm sure, but I think for them, they don't want to go and Henry does wanna go!" she recently said. "I'm in the middle."
I remember the first day my son went to preschool. I was so excited for him to embark on a new adventure, but scared for him to be out of my care. Not because I didn't think he'd be safe, but because I worried the teacher wouldn't "get" him, wouldn't understand his quirks, wouldn't love him like I would. Mostly I worried about him missing me.
We both shed many tears that day -- me from the minute I woke up until the time I picked him up; him only when it was time to leave. He didn't miss me at all. In fact, he threw one of the biggest temper tantrums of his life, because he didn't want to leave preschool.
Every year since then, I've found it easier to send him off to school, but I always get pangs of sadness with each passing grade. This year he's entering first grade, which seems like a whole new frontier once again.
At the same time, my toddler daughter is starting preschool. It's been fun buying her the little pink lunchbox and picking out her backpack, but as the first day of school draws near, I find myself getting weepy thinking of her actually using them.
I think back to my son's first days of school, and how long ago it seems that he was that little guy consumed by his big backpack, but how quickly the years have flown since then. How he's grown and learned so much from school and his friends, and now my daughter will too. But I also think about how they both will be spending more time in their world that doesn't include me ... and how that world will only continue to grow with the passing years.
There's definitely a part of me that has been counting down the days until school starts so I can stop the crazy summer maze of patching together camps, babysitters, and daycare while I work. There's a part of me that can't wait to share them with their new teachers, to see what they learn and how they grow.
But there's also part of me that just wants to keep them both at home with me forever -- in my world, in my care, in my arms.
So bittersweet, yeah, I get that.
Do you find sending your children to school bittersweet?
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