It’s that time of year again. New backpacks, sharpened pencils, meet the teacher nights, tax-free shopping and the smell of a new box of crayons in the air. My first-born starts First grade tomorrow. My “baby” started preschool last week. Time just keeps running away from me and there is nothing I can do about it. I am holding on to these precious days as much as I can and relishing in the fact that despite the countless articles and news stories about young girls growing up way too fast these days, my 6-year-old (who will be 7 this Friday) still plays with baby dolls and has to be tucked in every night and doesn’t know who Justin Bieber is…for the moment.
Since many mommies I know are sending their babies to Kindergarten this year, I thought I would post something I wrote a little over a year ago. It is hard taking that long walk to their classroom for the first time or holding that sweet little hand while they walk on the bus for the first time. The tears came for me, when she got up from her seat on the bus on her first day of Kindergarten to look for me and throw her hand out of the window and wave to me. The sad thing I have discovered is that it doesn’t get easier. I almost cried at “Meet the Teacher” night tonight and I totally lost it last week taking Little C to preschool for the first time. When she started crying, I couldn’t keep it together. Thankfully, the teachers are apparently all too familiar with the situation and one of them came swooping in to my rescue. She picked her up so that I could let go and leave. But I’m not sure I will ever be able to fully do that with my girls. Well, not for a while anyway and I am thankful for that.
Good luck to all of you amazing mothers and fathers who will be taking that long walk to pre-k or Kindergarten or who will be holding back the tears as you wave to the bus or kiss your boy as he heads out for his first day of his last year of high school. I will be praying for all of us for strength and for peace and to enjoy and savor each and every moment we have with our children.
Tea parties, Rainbows and Letting Go
My first-born is starting Kindergarten tomorrow morning and I cannot sleep. I don’t know if it’s the coffee ice cream I had for dinner – clearly I was stress eating or if it was the many thoughts that I have been pushing out of my mind for the past several months. I have to let her go at some point and this is only the beginning. She is growing up on me. Even though it feels like she was born a month ago, she was not. She will be six years old in a few weeks and tomorrow is a turning point and as much as I want to I cannot stop the world from spinning around, I cannot stop time from coming and taking away the baby girl that I have held and made only mine for these past several years. I must share her with the world now. I cannot go back in time and make her a newborn when she looked at me, smiled and I knew for the first time in my life, that my heart was no longer my own. I cannot go back to the day when she was 2 years old when she would babble on about her favorite Miss. Spider book and ask me to read it 20 times in a row. I remember days when we would spend hours having tea parties with her dolls, play in the grass barefooted looking for insects, and spend entire afternoons at the park having picnics together. Not one of them is a single memory in time now; they all run together like a blurry rainbow after a wild spring thunderstorm. It is breathtakingly beautiful but you can’t quite make out a single color.
Some moments do stand out above others and the rainbow is crystal clear, like the moment she was born. Words don’t describe that moment. The happiness mixed with anxiety, the anticipation then the pain. Not to mention the 27 hours in labor. Believe me I will never forget that! But it was the moment after those hours that I remember the most. Those are the moments that changed my life forever. The worried expression on the doctor’s face after she was born and she didn’t cry. No words from the nurses. I held my breath. Nothing. Then saw her umbilical cord wrapped around her – all around her and around her neck. But the doctor unwrapped the cord and assured me she would be ok. Thankfully, he was right. She was healthy and soon began to cry. And it was such a welcoming sound. After they checked her, they placed her on my chest; she was safe in my arms. Amazing. My girl. Her name means “Blossoming Meadow.” My first. My daughter. God’s blessing to us. Love. There was so much overwhelming love filling my heart. I had never known that kind of love before.
There are a few thoughts right now that bring me so much joy: I get to be C’s mother and no one else and for that I am so thankful. And right now, she may be starting Kindergarten but she still pronounces “except” as “becept” (every single time she says it) and I don’t correct her, she still sleeps with the “lovey” that she did when she was a baby, she can’t ride a bike without training wheels, she hasn’t lost any teeth yet*, and she says she will always be a “Daddy’s Girl” which is quite believable when her eyes sparkle and she grins her sweet, wide toothy grin.
I will be waiting at the bus stop tomorrow when she gets off the bus for the first time and I can’t wait to hear all about the new friends she made and the exciting stories she has to tell about what she’s learned in the new world that is just now opening up to her. It’s hard for me to believe that there will be a day when she won’t need for me to be there at the bus stop waiting for her, but for now I am going to stand and wait for her as long as she needs me to and hope that the day doesn’t come too soon – because this day came much too quickly for this mama.
*She has now lost 3 teeth and one will be gone any day now but she still says “becept” every now and then. 🙂