every fall i get this feeling.
i look around my church and i see these kids with their parents and its all to familiar. not familiar in the sense that i've experienced it, but familiar in the sense that i know how fast it will be here.
i know i'm supposed to be all choked up about my firstborn starting kindergarten, but for some reason i've skipped all her schooling and gone straight to college. i don't know what it is about these kids that makes me cry my eyes out. the fact that they have made it this far? the fact that they are at church with their parents still? the fact that they want God to be a part of their college experience? whatever the case, it gets me every year...
and this year... the stakes are higher.
its that time. you've read them before. i'm pretty sure all mom bloggers are required to write one. but this is my first, obligatory kindergarten post.
this wednesday, lily pearl rodgers will march her way two blocks up the road and begin her school career.
as most of you know, i got a pretty good size sentimental bone in this ol body of mine. i get sappy like the best of them. the baby girl, our firstborn, my goose is beginning a totally new season of her life. everyone always tells you how fast it flies by, and you laugh politely not feeling that way at all, and then all of the sudden you wake up one day, and pack a lunch and drop her off.
she's someone now, outside of you.
and that's a feeling i know i will never get used to. i remember the first time i realized that lily actually had an identity, a life, experiences outside of me. it was stupid, it was about a pretzel-- i wrote this about it:
she is two years old. it's not like she doesn't have any sort of life outside me... but the other day I was struck by something she said. we were on the rodgers houseboat just hanging out. b's mom, shelley, started to get some snacks out... hummus, carrots, crackers, pretzels etc... I asked lily if she wanted some carrots or crackers (two staples in her diet) and she said, ' no, I want those'- pointing to the pretzels. i thought, that's funny, since she is not the most daring eater, why would she want those skinny looking pretzel sticks- they don't even look interesting. so i pointed to the bag and said, 'these, are you sure?' she quickly said, 'yes- i want those ones.' so i hand her the bag and she pulls one out. just before she takes a bite, she pauses and looks up at me and in a real matter of fact way she says , 'i have these at preschool.'it was a simple as that, and i was just struck. to think she experienced something outside of our little world was so baffling to me. not only did she experience it, she liked it- and i wasn't even there to share it. i know it seems silly, and really pretty inconsequential. but for the first time in my life with lily, i kind of felt like an outsider. somehow i know it won't be the last time. just a reminder, i suppose, to cherish the mundane- even if it means a new type of cracker- it's still just ours.
that was 3 short years ago. since then, she's had many more experiences like that. some were big, some were little, but as her mom, i've known at least in part about the majority of them. though i try to be that ever-present available figure in her life, the reality is i have 2 other kids to chase after. 2 other kids to shine that magnifying glass on. its not easy having to miss stuff, or not being available in the way i always thought i would be-- she's my baby after all. she's the only one that had my sole affection for so long-- 19 months to be precise.
even though she makes me crazy most days, with her incessant wardrobe changes and snotty attitude, every once in awhile i'll catch a glimpse of what was. just yesterday in fact, as she was laying in the bath, her hair was wet and slicked back to her head, almost giving the appearance of no hair. i was busy reading a book and she called my name to have me look at her go underwater. i looked up and for just a split second with her wet hair, all i saw was her face.
and i remembered.
i remembered sleepless nights, pacing the downstairs, begging for sleep.
and then not long after, losing sleep --worrying about how she didn't eat, or why she couldn't poop, or why she seemed so different than other kids.
but i also remembered this...
she was the only one who got this.
she was my first and last in so many ways.
our bond is tight, sometimes strangulation sort of tight.
so with that said. i bid you farewell in many ways LP. i pray and hope that you will always want to share with me. whether its about your first crush, your new favorite book, or the first time your heart gets broken, i am your mom and i love you like you'll never know. i know you'll do great on wednesday.
and for the record, i'll always remember us like this....
oh, and monarch grove elementary, i know you do this every year with dozens of kids. though this year may not seem any different to you, it is to me. i'm trusting you with the best thing that ever happened to me.
don't let me down.
and good luck.
your gonna need it.