At the end of our block sits an elementary and middle school campus. An award winning, Blue Ribbon, "green" school. It is the type of school you move to a neighborhood for.
Today was the first day of school; a day that encompasses the spectrum of emotions for a family - anxiety, excitement, dread, joy, pride, fear, confusion, confidence and self-doubt.
I always loved the first day of school - the anticipation, the "smell" of the building, the shopping for new supplies, the way it feels like anything is possible and everything is new again. I loved the first day as a student, I loved it as a teacher, & I still relish them today as tutor. Today was different; today broke my heart.
I left the house this morning at 8:30, just in time to see the families arriving for the first day of school. Some families walked to school - complete with the family dog and younger sibling tucked into their Bugaboo strollers while others piled out of mini-vans & luxury SUVs. Moms, Dads, and even a grandparent here or there all along for the "big day." The little ones all dressed up -shiny new shoes, backpacks too large for their little backs, lunch boxes clutched tightly. Parents smiling through their tears while snapping pictures and taking videos. The older kids walking to school in groups, too "independent" for mom or dad. Dressed up in their own right, though you would never know it. The sky was blue and the sun was shining and it was a perfect first day of school in this All-American town...
And yet, there I sat in my VW Passat (purchased 4 years ago when it was voted, "Best Family Sedan"), feeling like an impostor in this suburban scene, bawling my eyes out. Any passerby may have just assumed I had dropped my pre-schooler off for his first day of school, but instead I was shedding tears of sadness, emptiness, envy and bitterness.
When will it be my turn? When will I get to share in these moments? When will I fill this 4 bedroom house in the 'burbs with the sounds of a family, instead of the emptiness that echoes through the empty upstairs bedrooms?
Yesterday was equally heartbreaking. We went to the State Fair. What a terrible idea that was. Beautiful, sun-kissed children everywhere reveling in the joy that is a state fair on a hot, summer afternoon. I think it might have even been multiples day - no joke, we must have seen 5 sets of multiples in the few hours we were there. I was getting all teared up every ten minutes and I felt like one of those crazy ladies making eyes at every one's kids. You know the kind that makes you want to pull your kids closer to you while smiling uneasily at the "crazy lady"?
Last night while watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics, Sean suggested that we look into going to London for the 2012 Summer Games. He was painting a lovely picture - we could visit Ireland first and then stay with his cousin in his posh London pad, maybe see swimming or gymnastics. He was really getting into it when I interjected a bit sarcastically, "Sure babe, I'm sure the twins will love London. Do they let toddlers into the games?" (Yes, I am the typical IVFer - assuming I will have multiples - maybe I just set myself up for more disappointment). To which Sean replies, "I guess I just have started assuming we will never have kids." OUCH!
I guess if I can't have first days of school and summer days at the fair to look forward to, there is always the 2012 Summer Olympic Games...