Sunday nights have never been a walk in the park for me. As a kid they were fraught with anxiety about the next day at school. As an adult Sunday nights brought the anxiety of work the next day. The end of the weekend, and the beginning of responsibility and expectations that I wasn't always able to measure up to. I got a reprieve the this weekly ritual when I first became a mother. I had no where to report each week, and no one to report to except my baby. I loved the lack of schedule and structure. That was very short lived of course because within a few years school entered my life once again. This time for my child.
My father once sent me a poem about Sundays and Mondays. He tried to help me embrace them with excitement and optimism. I really want to try and find that right about now. Last night that dreaded feeling reared it's head again. At first I thought I just had a stomach ache, and then I recognized it. Anxiety not being a stranger to my system, sometimes shows up before I can even place what I am anxious about. That was the case last night. It took me about an hour and then right before I got into bed my eyes started welling up. It felt a bit like Sam, the boy in Mo Willams Leanardo books that finally explodes a page long rant of why he is crying. I started with being tired, and got all the way to my babies are growing up. One is already done with Kindergarten and the other in the last year of elementary school. I am already anticipating the horrible unknown of middle school. It feels like every school year has some big monumental leap, or a bigger level of importance than the one before it.
My parent brain understands that I pass on any anxiety to my children. I do a great job of hiding this from them, but inside my won head it feels like a build up of all my first days of schools wrapped up into one and magnified when I send my kids off on that first day. Two years I sat down with a therapist to talk this through, but I knew in my heart of heart everything would be okay, and I was too cheap to pay someone else to say that to me. I also know that they have their own anxiety without any help from me. What I didn't know is how much I would feel their fears along with them. This of course is par for the parenting course. I am learning to hear my own calming words that I relay to them and slowly I will believe in them too.
I am grateful I feel things so deeply. The flip side is that I have a passion for life, and feel intense joy most of the time. I just wish that every time my adrenaline kicked in it didn't feel like a punch in the gut. Here I am experiencing elementary school anxiety all over again for a second time. This time I am learning a lot more though.