Sometimes we did nothing but go to Target or run an errand. Other times we had play dates, bounced around a trampoline playground, met Daddy for lunch and a carousel ride at the mall, or went to a PJ Library event at the local library. Whatever we did, we did it on Mondays for the past two years. June 10 was our last Monday together.
My daughter finished her time in the mixed 3s and 4s class at preschool on Thursday. It met Tuesday through Friday. She starts camp five days a week next Monday. In the fall, her pre-K class will meet each weekday, too.
A few weeks ago, my husband said, “You have only eight more Mondays with Ellie at home.” And that kicked off Operation Monday Madness. His statement hit me like the clichéd ton of bricks. My little girl would be away all week forever after. I wanted to make the last few Mondays we had together memorable.
We played, we ate, we danced, we laughed, we annoyed each other and we cuddled. For her final Monday without school–I don’t count future school breaks and holidays–Ellie chose to go to a moon bounce place and to lunch at Silver Diner, where she gorged herself on her beloved chocolate chip pancakes.
In the end, what I realized is that it wasn’t so much about what we did as it was about doing it together. First just us and then with her baby brother.
I know that lots of parents have had to be apart from their kids five days a week much sooner than I did. I also know that my daughter loves school and always asks to spend more time there. She’s ready. Me, I can go either way.
I still have my son to drag around to Target and to kvell about at play dates on Mondays (and Fridays next year when he joins the 2s class), but Team Mommy-Ellie is undergoing an operational transition, and I can’t help but feel a bit sad.
But that’s the catch about parenting. We love to hold our kids close even as we know we have to gradually let go. We’ve had four years of Mondays. And then there were none.