So many emotions racked me this first week of school. It’s like being forced to assume a brand new identity. From the days of driving them to school to all of them being in school to all of them taking a bus to and from a new school… this mama is wrecked. It is hard to let go. From the moment I found out I was expecting, my life has centered completely around them. That part, as stressful as it could be, felt so easy compared to this new realm.
Letting go. Trusting that you did enough. That you gave them the tools to go out into this world. This world that is so much scarier as a parent than it ever was as a kid, a single person, married without kids… You are vulnerable in a different way because you love these tiny people so much more than you ever knew was possible. Even when they remind you they aren’t babies.
“You all will always be my babies,” I assure them.
Cue the eye roll… times four.
Setting limits, enforcing consequences, letting them make mistakes, these are just stepping stones to the real world. The one that begins when they climb on that big yellow bus in the mornings. The complete silence of the house without them is terrific for catching up on artwork, cleaning and letting it stay clean, and writing. But there is a constant catch in my throat as I pick up a favorite dolly from years past, see crayons in unlikely places, or find an “I Love my Mommy and Daddy” drawing, or put away a t shirt that is too small for my smallest daughter.
I ask them every morning as we wait for the bus to do something nice for someone today and share it with me at snacktime when they get home. They have all made new friends and their days have had ups and downs. My youngest had to deal with a bully already.
“Guess what I did nice, Mommy?” she proudly told me yesterday. “I made friends with the bully!”
Now she calls her by name and claims she is her best friend.
It’s a small step, but one that we all go through watching our children grow up. Everyone always said it would go by so fast. But those words aren’t severe enough for the emotional toll that speed takes on you. I am so proud of the special big girls my babies have become. How brave they are. And how high they are soaring.