My first baby is starting kindergarten. And I’m a wreck. A big soppy, emotional mess over it. I wish I could write this piece with a different perspective and title it something like, “How to Cope and Get Through Sending Your First Born to Kindergarten.” But I can’t. I have no idea how I’ll get through these next several months and to the first day of school, in one piece.
Baby girl, I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I remember holding you against my chest, overwhelmed with emotions and so much love. I remember sobbing hysterically because I finally felt that love that all my mom friends had told me about. A defining moment in my life, and next to the day I married your dad, and the day I gave birth to your sister, it was the best day of my life. I remember bringing you home and hibernating those first several weeks. I remember all the skin to skin cuddles, nursing, baby coos, sneezes, and baby grunts. I miss it all so much.
I remember every first milestone. The first time you lifted your head, or rolled over, crawled, your first words. I remember those moments so clearly. I look back on our ordinary days together and I miss them so much. You were my little partner in crime. To the gym we went, to Target, to eat lunch, everywhere I go, you’d go too. It was just you and I. No little sister yet, just mommy and Brooke. Such a special time for us, that’s gone and went. My little baby is starting kindergarten and I’m a wreck.
I wonder so much. What if someone is mean to you? What if you need help in the bathroom? What if you get lost? What if you can’t keep up? What if 6 hours a day is too much? What if you get on the wrong bus? I think the hardest part of this may be that you’re entering the part of childhood where mommy can’t always protect you from what may come.
I know my feelings are selfish. I see your excitement and eagerness to start school is growing. I know you’ll thrive, make lots of friends, you’ll love learning, and you’ll love a little more independence. It will make me proud, and happy to see you in this next chapter of childhood. I’ll love hearing about your school day, about your bus rides, and helping with your school projects. I know I’ll love meeting the other moms in your class and getting involved in your school’s fundraisers, and events. I’ll love connecting to the community kindergarten will bring. I know kindergarten will bring a new set of milestones for us, and I know I’ll look back when you start middle school, wishing I could go back to today. But I’m still a wreck. A big hot emotional mess.
One of the things we constantly hear as new parents is the phrase, ‘It goes by so fast.” And yes it does. It goes by too fast. A big part of me wishes I could hit rewind and go back to those sleepless nights, and the days that I felt like a tired, nursing zombie. Those days I remember wondering when it would get easier, when I’d get a little more freedom back. Well here I am. I’m getting ready to send you to kindergarten and I’m a wreck. A big hot emotional mess.
Today I’m at the very beginning. I’m approaching the first lap of this “letting them go” journey we all have to go through as parents. Over the years to come, I’ll go through all of this again, and I’m sure it will only get harder. There will be the departure of elementary school and the start of middle school. Then she’ll be starting high school (and I’ll be holding on for dear life). And then one day I’ll be helping her move out of the house and start College, and a big piece of my heart will be moving with her.
To all the mamas out there that have done this, please tell me I’m not alone here. Please tell me what I’m feeling is normal and I’m not a crazy person.
I may be a wreck, a big hot emotional mess, but please tell me you were too?