Maybe, just maybe

My kids go back to school tomorrow. All week I have watched them with melancholy in my heart, loathe to part with them.

The past few days, I even mentally composed a touching, heart-felt post describing my feelings in great detail. One that would make all of you weep right alongside me.

And then...

Then they spent today fighting and tormenting each other.

And they whined to go to the pool. Then whined to go home once we got to the pool.

And left me a present of muddy shoes in the laundry room sink.

And accidentally dumped an entire plate of rice on the floor. Then attempted to sweep it up with a broom, leaving a sticky trail of wet rice behind.

And spilled -- not one -- but TWO glasses of milk at dinner.

And on my hands and knees, mopping it all up, I decided I actually might be ready for them to go back to school.

But then...

Then I walked past the boys' room and smiled at them -- heads together, bent over a Calvin & Hobbs book, their laughter filling the air.

And I hugged my baby girl goodnight, and for the millionth time kissed the tiny freckles dotted across her button nose. Her hair, smelling sweetly of shampoo, brushed my cheeks as we parted and I had to reach back down and hug her tight again.

And I talked a nervous middle schooler through his schedule yet again, loving the way he shrugged at the end of it saying, "Thanks, Mom," as though I accomplished a huge feat.

And I laughed out loud when my funny, quirky middle son set out his first-day-of-school-clothes, planning to wow his classmates with his retro Jaws tee shirt and his current favorite read. Noting with a smile, the man-eating theme with which he's chosen to start the fifth grade.

And at the end of the day I decided that maybe, just maybe, I might miss these little people after all.