Thursday, August 28, 2008

My aching heart

Someone gave me a card when I was pregnant with Skyler with the well-known expression:

"Having Children is Like Watching Your Heart Walk Around Outside of Your Body."

How true.

And next week my little baby is going to pre-school, and I'm having a hard time letting that settle in. Of course, she's used to going to daycare, and she is fairly adventurous in spirit, but I can't get rid of the lump in my throat. My girl. Having a whole day of school with a teacher and other students, and I won't be there to see what she loves and what makes her nervous and hear
what funny things she says. And imagining her at that first moment when she realizes she's going to stay at this school by herself all day, the moment she decides to be big and brave and do the best she can do is almost more than I can stand.

I know, I know. I'm not the first mother to have these feelings and I can just about guarantee that after the first few days she'll love it. I'm just really nervous about the first day. Skyler has a little side to her that gets nervous and panicky and because she's still 3, she's emotionally unpredictable. What if that panicky side kicks in at the moment it's her time to walk into school?

We have talked and talked about school. She has met her teacher (though she was suddenly struck with shyness and wouldn't talk to her) and loved her classroom. She has talked non-stop since we visited about how much fun it's going to be. But I know her, and I fear she's going to balk at the last minute when it's time for me to go.

So I did what any good mother would do.

I asked my mom to take her to school on the first day. I just can't handle the thought of having to walk away and leave her there if she gets scared. Plus, my mom will have the flexibility to stay with her if she needs more time to get comfortable.

Just watch. Maybe she''ll skip into that school and never look back, come home full of stories of all that she learned, beg to go back right away. What a blessing that would be.

Either way, I'll be at work waiting for a report from my mom of how she did. And I'll be watching the clock slowly tick away until I can go to the playground gate and get her famous running-jumping hugs that I get every day.

My heart. Outside of my body.

This is the part that no one could ever prepare you for before you have children. All of these changes and steps are such leaps of faith for us. I'm left holding my breath, trusting the world to be good and kind to my most
unbelievably precious little person.

When I was pregnant, I had a habit of looking at huge groups of people with a sense of reassurance: See? All these people survived birth! And look at all these women who survived childbirth! Lately, I've been looking at everyone thinking: LOOK! All these people survived their first day of school!

Next Wednesday is her big day. I mean my big day. I mean hers. We'll let you know how it goes.



Carver Fam said...

I feel you, friend. This quote was actually the one we used on Ella's birth announcement.

She is off to her pre-school (less intensive- I can't imagine how the whole day would feel) and I can relate. How did our girls get this big?? It was just yesterday we pondered over our towering bellies talking about eating too many french fries and bagels (you) and too much cake (me)!

She will be fine. You will be fine. And so will we. That was a stroke of brilliance to ask your mom. Go O'Mom!! You rock! Love, Suz

beth said...

Yes, Emilie,

Those are all the same emotions I had when I dropped you off at pre-school. And in kindergarten. And in first grade. And at college. It never ends. It's called LOVE

But I am also nervous about taking Skyler for her first day.. How will I cope if she cries and clings to me? By having complete confidence in the strong, self assured little girl that you and Sam have brought to this exciting point in her young life. She will be FINE and will love her new school. I just know it.

The Pagleys said...

Well said and well felt. Isn't it soo much harder being the mom.

Kara said...

I felt that way when Jack went to preschool!! I almost fainted the second we got there and I immediately got a sick feeling in my belly. I was comforted almost instantly when Jack said "bye mom I'm going to meet my friends now" and ran off.