Yep, first day of Kindergarten! Uniform pressed, shoes tied, hair fixed, book bag ready, lunch box filled with love.
Walking my daughter through the school hall was bittersweet. The sweet scent of freshly sharpened pencil, crisp writing paper, and fruity erasers reminded me of my early years in school. Now, it's her turn to take part in one of so many milestones while we held hands towards her classroom.
The separation anxiety was killing me while I watched her frolicked happily through the hallway, smiling at me with her big brown eyes full of excitement. We got to the classroom, and she looked at me and said "See you later Mom".
As a stay at home Mom, letting go of her for the first day of kindergarten was hard. Mixed emotions to the gazzillion got me all twisted up inside and out! The litany of "what if's" started running through my crazy head. I can't wait till dismissal time so I can go pick her up and be with her again.
We can come home and have a snack, play outside, and watch her ride her bike. On some occassions, we would have our very own lemonade stand and watch her enjoy the fact that she sold a glass of lemonade to the mail lady!
Those were the days.
She's now 17 years old! And guess what... she finally got her very own driver's license! She is now ready to go out there and conquer the road all by herself. The same separation anxiety is overtaking me and I am freaking out more than ever before.
She's not riding a bike anymore. where I can see her pedal along the neighborhood. She is now driving a car with everyone else out there and there is no way I can watch her push that gas pedal!
There were times during her school years when I wished she could drive herself to school. Cause really, I just did not want to get out of bed that early! Or maybe drive herself to flute lessons, band practice and school functions. Because I was tired.
"Be careful what you ask for" is all I can think of now. Yet, I know this is part of growing up not only for her, but also for me as a parent.
Ahhh....growing up is hard to do. But we all have to learn, right?
What was surprising to learn was when one day she said, "Mom, I'm really enjoying this independence. But, I miss you and Dad while I'm driving. The human interaction is not there."
I was taken a back when she said that. I dunno. Maybe because I thought she was ready to get away form us. You know what I mean. The typical teen ager, wanting to explore and be by themselves.
But, I guess, I forgot to take into account that teen agers are also individuals capable of recognizing true basic instincts. That we are all bonded to one another, one way or the other.
I can only remember a lecture in my OB class in nursing school. The subject of maternal-infant bonding. The close emotional tie that develops between mother and baby at birth. Bonding brings mothers and newborns back together.
You see, I felt guity for the longest time because our daughter was born 2 months premature. I had an emergency C-section. We were temporarily separated from each other after her birth. The "initial skin-to skin contact" was not there. It took 2 days after she was born before I can actually hold her.We had to play catch up.
Damn it! This is really hard.
Listening to this lecture brought me to tears because the only thing I can think of was maybe we did not bond well. We missed that opportunity.
Yet, again, my daughter made me realize during this "driving milestone period" that bonding did happen. This guilt I was carrying for all those years.....I'm finally released from.
I'm in tears once again while writing this post because the only event running in my crazy head is that same first day of kindergarten. we are walking through the hallway, with her big brown eyes full of excitement, and she says, "See you later Mom".