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When Kids Aren't in Tow

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani on Aug 28, 2011

It's been almost four years since I have spent a single day without a kid in tow. But this last week marked my youngest child's first week of preschool, which meant I had three mornings all to myself.

I had been looking forward to this day for years – every time my children overwhelmed me or frustrated me or couldn't seem to get along, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that preschool would be starting soon.

As I dropped my children off at preschool last week, I waited for the jubilation to overcome me. But it never came.

In a million years, I never would have expected the sadness I felt when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw two empty car seats. I wasn't just worried about whether my children were going to be okay without me – I was wondering if I was going to be okay without them.

I pushed my emotions aside and focused on my list of errands. I figured it would take the whole 2 hours to get everything done. So there was no time to waste.

I went to the library and exchanged old books for new. I explored areas beyond the children's section that I had never browsed through before. Then I went to the super market and didn't worry about whether one of my children was going to jump out the cart or sit on the eggs. I finished in record time.

I decided to go downtown and get a cup of coffee. I sat at a table on Castro, sipped my coffee and read a book I'd been carrying around in my purse for months.

At 11 am, I walked into a few stores that I never would have entered with two kids in tow. I realized that Mountain View isn't just a great place to raise kids; it is also a great place to explore on your own.

Before I knew it, it was time to head back to my children's preschool. I picked up two ecstatic children – my daughter, who told me about all her new friends and the new things she learned - and my son, who said he played with no one and did nothing – but said it with a smile.

In fact, we were all smiling as we drove home from preschool – happy to be together but not ashamed to admit that we thoroughly enjoyed our brief time apart.






Comments (4)

Posted by Elaine, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Put your kids in day care so you can get a cup of coffee and read a book? I'd spend every moment with my kids if I didn't have to work. Why let strangers take care of your kids?


Posted by Eats, a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Love the piece. Love to read something honest and positive, especially about parenting. I'm not sure I really realized how divisive writing about parenting was until I started reading the comments on this blog. We're all just trying our best. I like honesty, but the level of personal affront in the comment section still shocks me. I guess I forgot how truly personal all the choices we make as parents are...how judging we can be. How judged we can feel. Jennifer, love your writing. Keep up the great work!


Posted by Fern, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

I think this is an article less about parenting and more about self-realization or an inability to cope.


Posted by Reecie, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2011 at 10:31 am

Depending on your situation and the time you get to spend with your kids, your feelings regarding leaving them or stayin with them will vary greatly.

I think if anything, it this article shows you how when you are deep in it, it can seem never ending but in a blink of an eye, status quo changes.

It is so contrite, but time does fly, especially when it comes to your babies. Keep up the good work! Love your blog!


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