The main purpose of this post is personal, but maybe it’ll speak to some of you moms out there who are going or have lived through those mixed emotions of sending your baby to Kindergarten. I wanted to write this so I have something to remind me of this time. Memories fade so quickly with the hustle and bustle of the days, but when I’m able to “travel through time” via blog posts and personal journal entries, it’s such a gift to be able to remember what life was like then, and also to see how far we’ve come as individuals and as a family.
It’s official: PB is going to Kindergarten this year.
I posted a note after giving birth to her. I vented about our lack of sleep when she was a baby. I even shared some of our crazy with you. So why should I stop keeping you up to date on her young life? I’m adding ‘my little girl is taking her first steps toward a severed umbilical cord’ to the list.
What is my life?!
Whenever mothers with older kids would say to me, “enjoy these days, they grow up so quickly”, it was easy to brush it off when I had two kids literally hanging on every part of my body. But there was a peculiar look in their eyes that never escaped me – I noticed it in every single mother who’s ever said it. And now that my babiest baby is “leaving” me, I recognize the look because I see it in my own reflection: longing. Longing for one more moment of them hugging your leg. One more moment of precious conversation. One more moment of them looking at you with pure joy. One more moment of that complete chaos.
I never thought I’d say it, but I will miss these days.
I took my girl to story time at the library the other day. My heart exploded into a million uterus shaped shards while watching her march around, shouting answers to questions asked by the teacher. I wanted to cry from pride (my body helped create this awesome human!) and pain (this beautiful baby is growing more and more independent of me!).
I don’t recall feeling this bad when my son went to Kindergarten, but that’s probably because I had a toddler distracting me at home – made the hurt more bearable.
How have mothers done this since the beginning of time without completely dying? Just writing this is making me tear up! Is this a sort of right of passage for every mother? Going from being their entire world, to just a cheerleader?
When I was younger, my mom would always say, “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you will ALWAYS be my baby!” I would get so tired of hearing it – Didn’t she realize that I was an adult, that I had my own life? My, my, my, Jennifer, how the tables have turned! Going through this mini separation with my own kids makes me want to travel back in time, apologize to my mom, and give her a big hug. I know exactly where she was coming from now. I know where all these moms are coming from now. *I’m* the one who needs a hug!
I haven’t been able to sleep well lately and have a constant ache in my heart – I’ve been feeling so awfully blue about how quickly time races by. A friend of mine, whose children are long gone from her home, told me it’s okay for me to feel this way. Even this sweet, older female cashier at Target told me it’ll be okay (yes, apparently I’ve turned into the lady who talks about her feelings with random strangers now).
They both said they were the mom watching their children through the window the first week of kindergarten. And they both said that it won’t hurt for long – or at least ‘as bad’. Supposedly, the time I gain back to myself is pure heaven. I’ve heard this from numerous sources already, so I’m praying it takes root in my heart soon.
These feelings? It’s not just me – even PB knows what’s up. When my husband and I announced that we were getting back on School Night sleeping schedule, everything seemed fine. Oh, there was some humming and hawing, but everyone understood, and we all went to bed on time. But then sometime after prayers and goodnight kisses, I heard my girl running around. When I checked on her, she was crying and wanted to sleep with me in my room. She couldn’t seem to stop. So I sat her on my lap and I soothed her and we talked. The cause of her tears? She was anxious about being away from me when she goes to school. Between her tears, she’d say, “I wanna stay home with you!” “How come I don’t ride in a stroller anymore?” “I don’t want new friends.” “I want to be with you.”
Friends, it was everything in my power not to say, “Okay, baby, you stay home with mommy FOREVER!” Instead, I reassured her, tried to boost her confidence by reminding her of all the things she knows how to do on her own, and gave her tons of hugs and kisses. UGH, the heartache of seeing her struggle with such big fears and feelings and not know how to put words to them. Oh, and then on top of that, having to set aside my own anxiety and help her leave my side? Sick.
I’m missing my baby so much. I know she’s still here, playing at my feet, but she’s surely slipping away, blossoming into her own person. These days are so short. I’ve been focusing on making our time together “count”, embracing every single moment, smothering her with extra love – the push back she’s giving me hurts, but oh well. I’m not quitting because I can practically see the time slipping through my fingers.
The last days of true Mommy + Baby Time are upon us. Of course PB and I will get to hang out during the summers. I know we’ll have Mommy/Daughter dates. But this particular chapter of our life together, the one where I am her everything, and we’re two peas in a pod at home? This chapter is coming to a close, and it’s just so terribly bittersweet.
When does it get better?
***Please Note: My husband, when thinking about having both kids finally being in school, has been in celebratory mode since last summer. And if you want to see what I’m going to be like the morning of dropping PB, Whoa Susannah put it so well.