|Momma with her girls on my birthday last month!|
Are you reading for kindergarten?
When I say you, I mean you...the mom.
I, for one, think I'm starting to drive Ava nuts.
That is what a mom is supposed to do, isn't it?
Every couple of days I look at her-- her long legs, her maturing facial features, the idiosyncratic ways she has begun to walk, talk and gesture her hands-- my little girl...getting so BIG.
Oi. They said this would happen. You know, the old ladies in the grocery stores, the childcare workers in the nursery, my mother in law, women in my church. The one's who tell you how fast they grow.
I look at her and I start to think about the the impending beginning of school in 56 days (yikes!) and...PANIC. (Good thing she's not going off to college...I have a lot of empathy for you mommas!).
"Ava!" I say, "You're starting school in two months."
She just kind of shrugs her shoulders. "Uh-huh."
Shouldn't this be a big deal? Shouldn't she be nervous or anxious or curious?
"Are you nervous about anything?"
Lisa, don't ask her that! I yell at myself. You don't want to MAKE her nervous.
"Oh...pause...You're not wondering about anything?"
Wow. Isn't she supposed to be responding differently? Does she know what she's about to get herself into?!!!
"Mom. At that one school I visited they have pajama day and eat pancakes! Will I get to do that?"
(The school she is referring to is the local Christian school we visited. We've decided to send her to our districted public elementary school this year. More on that at a later time.)
School's starting and all she is curious about is pajama day and pancakes?!!!
"Oh babe, you'll get to do all sorts of fun things. Mommy LOVED school."
And that is the truth. For all of this nervousness about her going off on her own, about her ability to emotionally be away from me for six hours, her needing to handle new social situations and learning moments all on her own...for all of what I know she is about to encounter...I DID really love school and I'm sure she will too.
It's just that no one told me that the hardest part about sending your first child off to kindergarten might be managing your emotions not theirs. No one told me I would start to worry, two months before school starts, about all that I will not be able to help her with, all I will not be able to control in her world, all she will experience without...ME.
No one told me that all of that would make me...sad.
Now I'm beginning to understand that when they all told me that children grow up fast and that I really would miss them, that there might be some truth to that.
Me...the woman who wasn't going to stay at home full time, the woman who hated babysitting other people's children and who cringed when she saw her name on the nursery volunteer list at the small start up church we attended for several years.
Me...the one who becomes more of a mom with each day I do this...the kind of mom who is sad to see her daughter off to kindergarten, who can't believe she is 5, who drives her daughter nuts by peppering her with questions about school because of MY insecurities. The kind of mom who needs to grow emotionally alongside her daughter so that I can learn how to let her become more independent one little kindergarten step at a time.
I guess we both have some learning to do come Fall.