This is the girl who made me a mother. Who started the next generation of our family. In so many wonderful ways, she has made me a better person.
She is starting kindergarten this year and it has been hard for me. It's not so much about her going to school, I won't be crying the first day because I know she is ready and she will love it. It will be new experiences, new things to learn and she will LOVE IT. And it's not so much about her being away from me, although that is a little bit of it.
It is about the passage of time. Babyhood is over. Toddlerhood is over. Preschool is over. Never to come again. The years during which I will be her everything are also coming to a close. The years in which she will go to bed untroubled every night are unfortunately probably going to end soon too. And it is so bittersweet. She is moving forward in an exciting and wonderful way and I wouldn't change a thing but I am mourning her babyhood. When she was little I eagerly awaited her sleeping through the night, then when she would sleep past 5 in the morning, then when she could dress herself and each thing was so exciting and we celebrated it but now I'm afraid that I forgot to soak in the NOW. To breath it all in despite the lack of sleeps and tantrums. And I wouldn't go back at all but a part of me is grieving.
There is also a little bit of fear. Now, I know we are not supposed to carry fear in our hearts, but I can't imagine a mama out there that doesn't have a little pocket of fear in her heart for her babies. This is the first time she will interact with many adults that I don't know. She will ride the school bus. That little pocket in my heart is filled with "what if's" right now. What if the teacher doesn't get her? What if she feels lost? What if she has a hard time making friends? Or worse, what if she is picked on? What if she is so quiet they think she doesn't know anything despite the fact that she is reading and doing multiplication? This is the stuff that I have to set aside and have faith in her and the school and us and know that it will be OK.
So the first day of school, there I will be with a brave look on my face and a deep breath in my lungs saying good bye to my first baby as she goes off to her next adventure.