Emma went to Kindergarten 2 years ago. I remember the anxiety I felt sending my first born out into the world. Feelings of “did I prepare her enough”. Would she find her teacher ok?, Will she make friends? , Will she cry and miss home? , Will she go to the bathroom when she needs to?, Will she be brave and stand up for herself?, Knowing she is quiet and sensitive…will she not get lost in the crowd? I remember that first day of school so vividly. I had a knot in my stomach the whole night before and morning. I couldn’t believe that this tiny little baby I had brought home from the hospital was big enough to already go to school….all day long! She was leaving the nest and having to learn that kids can be mean and not everything is just like home. I remember trying to hold back the tears the first time I saw her wearing a backpack bigger than she was! The moment that big yellow bus came and I got one last hug….happened in an instant and it was all over! I balled my eyes out as the bus pulled away and I saw the 3 little fingers signing “I love you” out the window. Then I turned and saw this sweet little 3 year old holding my hand saying “it’s ok mom, we will be ok”.
I didn’t feel completely alone because I had someone else who needed me during the hours of 8-3. My little buddy, my side-kick, my helper Hannah. We filled our days with fun adventures and memory making. We truly had time to bond now that it was just the two of us! Of course, the time has now come….my youngest is about to head off in a little over a week and it’s hard all over again for different reasons! I have some of the same worries I had 2 years ago, but some different as both girls have different personalities. I still worry that she will become just another face in a sea of 5 year olds. I worry that she will give in to peer pressure because she longs to be a good friend, that she won’t eat her lunch, that she won’t pay close attention to her teacher because she gets easily distracted, and I worry that she will get so tired because she still regularly needs rests. Hannah is ready, I know she is.
It’s time for me to let her grow up, but I also worry about myself. I worry about the once coveted silence will be deafening, I worry that I have no purpose if I’m not spending the majority of my time with at least one of my children. I worry that I won’t be needed as much. The years I have been able to be at home with my children have been the absolute hardest and best years….I would not have traded them for anything. The memories, the bonding, the hard days were worth it. But it’s a loss knowing that this time went too fast and is over. I’m excited for them and all they are going to learn and experience, but it ain’t easy being a mom!