I think we’d all agree we picture our babies staying babies, forever. We picture helping them get dressed, feeding them, brushing their teeth, with little glee and maybe even a bit of annoyance more often times than not…as though these days will never end. We think, as much as we love these little beings, they will depend on us forever.
So today, at kindergarten registration, I found myself staring at the concrete block walls inside the huge elementary school just a few blocks from our house. I pictured my daughter running and playing there, meeting new friends and learning to read. I knew in that moment that before long, she’d be rushing away when I dropped her off before school, no longer begging for a kiss or a hug as she does now. She’d be more stubborn about wearing what she wanted, mismatched clothes or a dress on a snowy morning. She’ll likely come home with tears because a little boy broke her heart, or the mean girl at school ridiculed her.
I know I no longer can protect her the way I have. The home daycare with a woman that loves her nearly as much as I do. Or the wonderful preschool teachers that think she’s the sweetest little girl that’s full of spunk and life, and encourage her in that. It’s just one step in this huge, gigantic world for her, and I’m scared to death. I realize I have to let her go, and be excited for her…and I am in some ways. I’m ready to help her with homework and assist in her class from time to time. I’m ready for sports and new friends…and for her to get to experience this next new phase in life.
The real fear is deep rooted because I know that from here, it’s only going to fly by faster. Pretty soon I’m going to have to explain boys, the “mean” girls in school, sex, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure. These are all things as mothers of young children we simply don’t anticipate to come so quickly. One moment we are complaining about diaper and bottle duty…the next, dropping them off for their first real day of school.
Mommies, soak in all the moments with those kiddos while you can…because as many times as I’ve heard it will fly by and be gone before you know it, I still wasn’t ready for this day. Imagine what a mess I’ll be the first day of school!