It has been
quite the buildup for me, working toward my little guy's first day of
kindergarten. Real school. All day long. Just like his big sisters. Leaving
home at 7:30 in the morning and not getting home until after 3. That's a long
day for a little dude who is used to long, lazy days at home playing dinosaurs,
building train tracks or lying in his underwear watching TV. And that's a long
day for his mama, too.
leading up to this momentous occasion of leaving him at school were filled with
tears. Which is me—totally how I deal with these life moments. My kids always
think I'm crying because I'm sad, and I'm constantly reminding them that I'm not
really sad (maybe just a little). It's more that I'm feeling "life," I tell
them. These are the moments when I just can't deny that life is happening.
It's kind of easy to deny that life is happening in the middle of hectic days filled with routine and errands and fighting and bill paying.
It's kind of easy to deny that life is happening in the middle of hectic days filled with
routine and errands and fighting and bill paying. But when a new school year
starts and I see my youngest child gear up for his next big adventure, it all
becomes crystal clear.
life. And it's happening.
As I got the
kids ready on that first day, packed their lunches, made them breakfast and drove
them to school, my mini emotional outbursts came and went. No matter how hard I
tried to keep it together, those life-happening tears would just well up, make their way to my eyes, and just spill over, running down my cheeks. And then they
would subside almost as soon as they came. Then they would come again.
As I exited the freeway, I thought about how these tears of mine reminded me of my labor
contractions. The way that pain would come and go. Overtaking me as my babies
started making their way into the world. And I thought, yeah, these are like
The pain of
a mama letting go ...
It's been a
theme of my motherhood. Letting go. But not just letting go of them, as they
stretch and grow toward being their own little independent creatures ... letting
go of me. Surrendering to this experience of motherhood in all of its
struggles and glory.
I am a woman
who is addicted to my independence and individuality. And becoming a mother has
meant that I can never really be just me again. It means I can never really
even think about just me again. It's impossible. It's a mind shift of
epic proportions—the moment my firstborn arrived into the world, everything
shifted. Solo me was gone.
I am profoundly connected to my children. We are
But on the
first day of school, watching my little dude walk onto the school campus and start
this grand new adventure—the one that marks the start of his true big boy independence
and the beginning of a time when I could maybe spend some more time getting
back in touch with solo me—I realized how desperately I didn't really want to
let go of him. Just like my body seemed to not want to let go of any of my
babies. All three of my labors were long and painful and slow.
I guess it's
the story of me and them. Trying to untangle ourselves from each other as we
stretch and grow and feel life happening.