Monday, September 7, 2009

The First Day

Big Sis starts kindergarten tomorrow. We took a school tour, saw the classrooms, the play area, library, lunchroom. We’ve walked our route to school, talked about expectations for what to do, picked out her outfit, and she even decided what she wants for breakfast (cereal and an apple). She’s ready.

I am not.

I’ve been having tremendous anxiety over this event. Not about her, really. She’ll do fine. I don’t expect her to be a star pupil, but she’s bright and funny and kindhearted. She’ll make friends, and be polite, and settle into the routine nicely.

But that anxiety snakes around my mind, wrapping me in a Medusa’s glare, whipping me into a quiet frenzy of worry.

I feel like my baby is slipping away from me. All-day school means all-day away from me. Ever since we moved and I transitioned to working from home, she’s been my constant companion. We know each other’s routines and preferences, and have a good understanding of each other. And now she’s taking this giant step away from me, with nary a backward glance. She’s moving into that time where friends feel more important than family, and parental influence begins to wane. I hope I have a few more years before that really holds true, but this is the beginning.

Will school be a haven for her? A relief from the ever-present shadow of her baby brother with his grabbing hands and gibberish squawks. Or will it be a quiet torture? Counting down the numbers on the big-handed clock, always awaiting the sound of the bell which signals the sweet moments of freedom from numbers and sounds and rules, rules, rules.

I’ve never thought she would live with us forever or become a clone of me. I don’t want to freeze her now, never allowing her to grow up - to evolve into the young woman I hope she will become. But looking back on the hazy days of my grade school years, I want to reach out a warning hand to her, tell her of the peaks and pitfalls and missteps that are to come. And yet I know that those were my lessons to learn, just as she will have her own lessons to live and learn from.

And so tomorrow I will wait. Silent in my anxiety, hands clasped quietly. Watching with pride in my eyes and a heavy heart in my chest as she walks away from me, and into her future.


Suzie Bean said...

Good Luck to both of you! Those first few weeks can be tough but it is also exciting to see them making new friends and their excitement over "being smarter than you" (that is what Megan likes to say, since I don't know the difference between a bug and an insect but she does!)

Kelly said...

I can relate. Austin loves it so that helps.

Rosie said...

This was so eloquently put, dear. I'm standing in solidarity with you as we watch our daughters start to stretch their wings. I want to see a picture of her first day outfit.

sarita said...

I agree with Liz, so eloquently put. And it gave me anxiety for Isaac's first day of school...and he's only 2.

Robyn said...

thanks for explaining the feelings of my heart... you do it so much better.

Hope you are doing well.

ps. just today mariah asked why she never sees malaina anymore. it was a sad reminder...

hope you are adjusting well. sure miss you!