I HATE GOODBYES. I'm not good at them, especially the ones that I know are of the "permanent" variety. They can be awkward, wrenching, painful. Sad, even. More often than not, they make me cry. And I am not a pretty crier.
I tend to avoid goodbyes if I can. I have left more than one job on my last day by sneaking out, quietly, instead of making rounds through the office. When we moved to PA, we didn't say big goodbyes to our wonderful Maryland neighbors, which was partly because we knew we'd be spending more time visiting them than we did getting to know our new neighbors in PA. When we left PA and returned to Maryland, we kinda snuck out of that neighborhood, too. It was just… easier to avoid the scene.
Instead of goodbye, I prefer to say, "until we meet again." It implies that there will come a time when we separated souls can reunite. Or "Farewell," which used to be "fare the well," which of course means, I hope you get along well once we part. And I guess that's what "goodbye" means, too, but it just seems so… final to me.
I hate goodbyes so much that I'm already stressing about bidding farewell (see?) to the wonderful staff and directors at Peezer's daycare. Friday is his last-ever day there. As in, forever. And it's my last-ever day there too, because Peezer will always-and-forever be our youngest child. He started in the infant room when he was 8 or 9 months old and has moved up through the classes to his pre-K classroom. His teachers now were also on staff when The Boss and Seth moved through the very same center. So you see, I've had at least one kid at that daycare center for the better part of the past decade.
Without getting into the tired old Working Mom versus Stay-At-Home Mom debate, I will just say that as a mom who works, this center has been fantastic. As my work schedule has changed, the center as accommodated my needs. They patiently held a spot for Peezer while we were dealing with Seth's hospitalization and were able to take him back when our lives resumed normalcy (our "new normal" as we called it).
And Peezer has been quite happy there. He has blossomed. He has made some really good friends, too. What a nice bunch of kids! I love dropping him off in the morning – they'll all mob me for hugs and kisses and they all want to show me something. PEEZER'S MOM! PEEZER'S MOM! they yell, trying to get my attention.
I'm lucky because I gained some new friends, too. Peezer's friends' parents are such a fun group of moms and dads. This doesn't happen everywhere, you know. It didn't so much happen when Peezer's older brothers were coming up through, but it sure happened here. The good news is, I don't need to say goodbye to these fine folks because we live close to each other and, although our kids are off to different elementary schools, we'll still get together on weekends. And there's always email and Facebook, too.
All week, I've been doing the mental countdown as I drop Peezer off. Four more days. Three more. Two-and-a-half more. I don't want to be a mushy, gushy, crying sort of mom, but I'm a little bit afraid that I won't be able to keep myself from making a scene on Friday. Maybe it would be easier to pick him up Friday afternoon and make a stealthy exit as we head over to his elementary school to meet his kindergarten teacher. But I don't think the teachers will let me do that. I think they'll want hugs. They will want to wish me goodbye and farewell. And that's the thing about goodbyes, isn't it? They go both ways. And they're necessary. Goodbyes are a part of life. We need goodbyes.
Once we get Friday's goodbyes out of the way, I will take a deep breath, blow my nose, and turn my focus on "Hello!" and "Welcome!" as we return to our fantastic elementary school. I'm looking forward to that. I'm grateful to the teachers at Peezer's school for their part in getting him ready to tackle elementary school. He is soooo ready! And so am I. So am I.