So my baby starts kindergarten this fall. Um, WHAT?
I finally went to the district website, downloaded all of the registration forms and now have the task of registering my little girl for school. Real school. It isn’t that I don’t think she’s ready or that I’m worried she won’t like it, or that the school is bad. She is going to be fine. Actually she is going to be more than fine because the girl loves school. And our neighborhood school just happens to be fabulous. I, however, am picturing myself driving home from dropping her off on the first day a sobbing mess. Is the school day really 6 hours? Why don’t I live in a place with a half day alternative? It might be a 5 latte day with a double cheeseburger and fries to wash it all down.
I know that to many out there this all sounds ridiculous, but for me this is a bit like an end of an era. I’ve been home with BQ since she came home from the hospital. I’ve been blessed to spend long days with her, everyday, for five years. The start of school means losing those wonderful hours. Hours that I have at times taken for granted. The preschool years fly by and once school begins things just aren’t quite the same, even if you are homeschooling. I can’t wait to watch her learn and grow in new ways, to develop new skills and gain independence. It’s going to be awesome. But it’s also going to be different, and 6 hours apart each day, and another part of what is often the hardest thing about mothering- letting go. As much as I would love to be able to fully control all of her input and output for all of eternity I can’t. She is going to have to try new things, fail, and go places without me for the rest of her life. This little girl, who was placed in my arms as a tiny 6 lb 10 ounce baby five years ago, will grow up. My job isn’t to try and curb that or wish it away (though random acts of denial from time to time can be permitted I think 🙂 ). My job is to be her mom along her life’s journey. To help her to grow into the woman that God has created her to be- not the person that I want her to be or am forcing her to be. To provide her with a safe place and unconditional love. I don’t want to let go, because in many ways it feels like if I do I will lose her and obviously I don’t ever want to do that!
And then I realize that as much as I don’t want to lose her, she doesn’t ever want to be lost. I’m 32 and I still need my Mom. I need her in more ways than I can count and I will never, ever be done wanting to be her daughter. It doesn’t matter how old I am, where I live or what I’m doing. When life gets crazy, I need her. When I have really good news, I can’t call her fast enough. When I feel like a failure, I can cry to her. She is always there. Always. I don’t ever want to be a lost daughter or to lose the intimacy and love I have from my Mom. Even when I’m 85 I will still desire to be a child in the eyes of my mother. To be cherished and loved in a way that only she can provide.
When I think about myself as a daughter and how I have passed through the phases of entering school, graduating school, going away to college (she’s going to live at home and go in state, right?), getting married, moving even farther away, having babies, moving again, and on and on I am relieved. Why? Because my mom is still a part of it all, even if her role has changed. I don’t need to her to remind me to wash my hands after I go to the bathroom anymore, and I think that’s a good thing for us both! I need her to tell me that I’m still a good mom when I yell at my children and to tell me I look beautiful all bloated and chubby after having a baby. The seasons of my life will always change, but who she is to me will not. A Mommy once is a Mommy forever.
And so I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that while I will be crying after the first day of school and will definitely need the next 6 months to prepare myself for the big day, it’s all good. Really and truly. I am not going to waste my time fearing or grieving too long about what is to come because I want to spend my time enjoying my child for who she is in that moment. Years will come and go, she will continue to grow, and I am definitely along for the ride. My beautiful girl will always be just that- mine. Nothing, not kindergarten or anything else that life can bring, can change that. And that brings me peace.