Leila is starting primary on Tuesday. I’m… oh, I don’t know what I am.
I’m excited and happy and scared and sad and really, really emotional about the whole thing.
I mean: my baby, my little baby and all of a sudden here she is with really big, stinky feet and clammy hands with dirt under the nails and very little baby softness left around her bones and wasn’t it just yesterday that I wondered how long it was going to take for her to walk?
This is the thing about parenthood that no one tells you: it breaks your heart.
On Tuesday, I will put her on a bus (and yes, I predict that she will cry) (I’ve already decided I better wear my sun glasses to hide my own tears so keep your fingers crossed that it’s sunny) and wave goodbye and then *poof* like that it’s gone. She’s gone, my baby is leaving.
Oh, I know how dramatic that sounds, it’s not like she’s heading off to college but it’s just that school is different. Different even than daycare. School is… a place I can’t be. I have no worries about her development socially or her ability to fit in and make friends and have fun and enjoy her experiences, but in my greedy way, I wish it was possible for her to stay wrapped in this cocoon of mine.
Now my baby will be punching the Monday to Friday clock (something I can’t even make myself do, so is it unfair of me to demand that she do the same?) for the next thirteen or eighteen or even twenty years.
And yet, in all of this sorrowful weeping about mah baybee this morning she happily got herself dressed and brushed her teeth and hair and washed her face and then fed the dog. While I’m finding it hard to unclench my gripped fists from my own apron strings that lead to her, she lets go and drops without even noticing. And you know? She’s wonderful. She is a wonderful little girl. She is caring and smart and stubborn and kind. She is thoughtful and soulful. She is beautiful, in the depths of her heart, and it shines through those watery blue eyes of hers, up and out across her round face with creamy, yet often flushed, cheeks.
These past five years, I have felt ever single emotion possible about being a mother – from utter euphoria to regret – but I’ve seen through it all, how down right lucky I am to have someone like her in my life. Not only someone who is able to make people smile, who draws strangers into conversations, who really cares about other people – but someone who I actually like and am able to have fun hanging around. Someone who, somehow in her innocence, has become one of my best friends.
So when you drive
And the years go flying by
I hope you smile
If I ever cross your mind
It was a pleasure of my life
And I cherished every time
And my whole world
It begins and ends with you.