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The Little Session

August 23, 2012

I still don’t know how to process the fact that she will start kindergarten next week, but I’m trying.  I wonder how I’ll feel next week when she really walks through the doors and I walk away. We’ve done it before, really, the past two years at preschool.  And it’s only a half day.  And I think by then that I’ll be totally fine and so will she.  But somehow it feels bigger.

We went to visit today and meet her teacher and my tears started falling.  The lump was so huge in my throat that I could barely get out my name to introduce myself to her teacher.  Thank goodness for randomly running into an old, lovely friend just two doors down across the hall – I didn’t even know she worked in the school and it was such a welcome change in direction that it cured me on the spot.  But I could feel Mia getting antsy.  I could feel the wiggle in her body and the jumpiness in her step – she was holding something in, not sure how to process.  She gets weird when she feels like that and I knew the dam was about to break.

It’s silly, really.  For me, at least.  I’m old enough to know that it will all be fine – of course it always is!  We will find our new norm and be so happy to have a routine again.  I just can’t seem to get past the fact that it has actually been over five years since all of this began.  How is that even possible?

We started in Denver in the apartment with no real bedrooms and no doors other than closets and the bathroom.  We moved to the cave apartment without a bedroom for you, but it had an “office” with a door and that was just fine.  We moved across the country and lived with my parents.  We bought our little house and moved in and gave you a baby brother and still you weren’t even two.  I struggled and we struggled and we finagled every possible angle to make sure we spent our time with you two and I will never regret these years that we’ve struggled in the grand scheme of things for the sake of being with you. 

These precious tiny years, how is it possible that they are truly over already?  It can’t possibly have been six years ago this fall that I found out that you existed and I couldn’t even breathe at the hugeness of it all.  I finally went to the nearest church to kneel at an altar and pray because I didn’t know what else to do with myself.  How on earth could I swallow the magnitude of another human being entrusted to my care?

Now, I can hardly breathe at the thought of you leaving.

And here we are today.  Visiting your classroom before you start school next week.  Meeting your new teacher and new friends.  

She held it together until about 10 seconds before we left, just as we were going through the double doors to leave.  A single “no” as an answer to her request for a frisbee (they were all gone) set her on the path to tears and by the time we got out the door she was full-on sobbing and didn’t stop for a solid half hour.  She was crying out her sadness and her overwhelmed feelings and her fright and her nervousness that she couldn’t quite articulate.  The floodgates opened and suddenly she was heaving and sobbing and we drove home and we were laying in bed, me holding her tightly and helping her to get it all out.  The worry about a new teacher and new classroom.  Sadness that every single friend she knows from preschool is in class together, across the hallway without her.  Making new friends.   Leaving me.  Being gone and missing her brother everyday.

It all suddenly feels so much more real – her little person feelings.  I don’t mean that disrespectfully, quite the opposite. I just mean  that I’m not sure where to go from here because I don’t know how much I want to share, for her sake.  I share a lot on this blog, but also next to nothing.

Still, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So I decided this morning that we were going to take pictures today as we were out and convince myself to see the perspective that you are, indeed, still very little.  (I offered you a bribe of $1 to spend on anything you want in the Target dollar bins and you were thrilled.) You are big, oh so big, but really you’re still little.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Technonana permalink
    August 23, 2012 11:02 pm

    Your children are so beautiful. I know exactly what you mean about struggling so you could be with them. At their age it means a lot more to them to have you than to have “things”. You are making an investment that will return untold dividends. They will have memories of the times you have spent with them.

    As for the separation anxiety, it will be harder on you than on them. I remember my daughter crying every morning when the bus picked her up. I talked to the teacher and bus driver and they both said that just as soon as I was out of sight, she was fine. They thought she was worried about leaving me alone, not herself. So-o, I told her that I did not care how much she cried, she was going to school.

    The next morning, like a little soldier, she marched out to the bus without a word. The driver called me later and told me when my daughter got on the bus she told the driver, “I’m not going to cry anymore because my momma doesn’t care.” From then on she got on cheerfully and has been a regular social butterfly. She has children of her own now.

    Parental love is the only love that MUST grow toward separation.

  2. Jen permalink
    August 24, 2012 12:41 am

    I was the same way when we met Alex’s teacher. All the friends she knows are also in the other class. I told her that I would cry on her first day and I did! I told her not to let it upset her and it didn’t. She marched right in and has been really enjoying kindergarten so far. It is a big change from preschool. After 3 weeks, I can say that we are settled into the new norm and schedule and things are fine. It is definitely a change and hard to let go. Big hugs to you all on the journey! Absolutely hard to believe all of these little ones that knew one another as babies are off to Kindergarten this year! Good job being there for your little girl and letting her just cry it out:)

  3. August 24, 2012 5:41 am

    I tried to take first day photos of my 3 every year– got harder and harder as they got older and didn’t want their photos taken! Good luck with the transition- all will be fine!

  4. MSO permalink
    August 24, 2012 7:58 am

    For me it’s trying on clothing. To say goodbye to the little shirts and dresses is hard! We went to the park and learned how to ride a bike and simply grew in all those little outfits and to see them go is difficult for me. They think I’m so silly as I sob over t-shirts and shorts, but I try to explain that I’m not sad they’re growing! I am going to love the big kid they’ve become, but I’m going to miss the little kid they were. The big kid is going to be just as great and fun and wonderful, but I will miss the spunky, terrific, little kid who lived here last year.

  5. August 24, 2012 6:36 pm

    she is so lovely, and you both are so brave. I remember being a mess of tears when I dropped my little one off for Kindergarten for the first time. It is bitter sweet to let fly on their own. xoxox. sending you internet hugs.

  6. Kim M. permalink
    August 24, 2012 8:06 pm

    beautiful. just beautiful!

  7. August 26, 2012 12:12 pm

    Oh man – just reading this the lump in MY throat was so big.

    I don’t think I will ever forget the day that I left Nolan at kindergarten. He just waved to me and gave me his missing tooth smile and I had to walk away. He loves it. I love him even more for loving it so much, but I know how much BIGGER being in kindergarten makes him – even metaphorically, and I know this is step one in a very long walk (but not long enough!) away from me and into his own life. Sigh.

    And on a side note – who knew five years would really go by THAT fast?

  8. August 28, 2012 3:28 pm

    It’s going to be a growing experience for your both. And if she is anything like my daughter was when she started Kindergarten, she will bounce through it all with flying colours! It will impress you just how brave they are as they meet new friends and become more independent. My daughter is about to go into Grade 8 this year — her first day of Kindergarten seems like yesterday! Enjoy every moment with her. Stay strong, mama! You’ll do okay . . .

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