Kleenex Patrol: How Many Will You Need on the First Day of School?

There's nothing like spending a week vacation with your kids to make you want to send them back to school as soon as humanly possible. If I have to break up one more it's-my-turn-to-play-Angry Birds!-fight, I'm going to lose it. Needless to say, I'm counting down the days 'til I can send my two boys off to be someone else's responsibility for a few blissful hours so I can bolt to the nearest coffee shop to sit and stare off into space.

Except that there's an undercurrent of anxiety that I can't seem to shake, a nagging feeling of time slipping by too quickly. It started a couple of weeks ago when I noticed my older, almost 6-year-old son stretched out on the couch. His legs looked longer and leaner than they were at the beginning of the summer. I could almost picture him as a teenager. My mama's boy, who couldn't be more than two feet away from me when he was a toddler, now asks for "privacy time" when he plays with his Matchbox cars and pulls away from my hugs if they go on too long. And while my 4-year-old still crawls into my lap to snuggle, he's restless now -- he wants his big brother's approval more than mine.

My little guys are growing up and getting older. Of course, I'm excited that my older son will get to have his never-ending science questions answered and my youngest might be able to form an indentity that's not defined by his older sibling. It's just that no one ever told me it would be so hard to send them off to school.

Even after a morning spent losing my voice from barking orders nobody listens to, how could I know I would miss them 10 minutes later? Or that the looming prospect that someday I won't be the most important person in the world to them, makes me want to hurl myself down on the floor and cry. But I still have a few more days before another year begins. And that will have to be enough time for me to pull myself together. 

WATCH: Real-Mom Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

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