|First day of 2nd grade. Tried to convince me to let him wear a favorite shirt two days in a row. We negotiated down to something clean and not hideous. Winning.|
|My husband's annual photo bomb. It's not the first day of school if that man's not intentionally lingering in the background making a funky face.|
So it surprised me a lot a when I cried a teeny tiny tributary the night before my daughter started fifth grade. Nothing like the great Kindergarten Flood of 2008. But still. Because where did that come from? This kid has been getting increasingly independent, bright as a bulb and confident to try new things and go places without us. She's not a baby. And I know this. I’ve known this for awhile now.
|First day of fifth grade. 9 years old. Carefully styled ensemble.|
It’s the letting go that’s hard. I didn’t cry the night before she started fifth grade because I loved her so much. Although I do. And I didn’t cry the night before she started fifth grade because she looked like such a young lady. Although she did.
|Curled hair. Little foam rollers for the win. On the bright side, she can put her own earrings in now. On the downside, I get to put in hair curlers now instead.|
I cried instead because that ball rolling down the hill is picking up speed. And that speed is taking her further and further away from the little baby.
|First day of Kindergarten. So excited. Hold me.|
I have a million memories of that little baby. Sleepless nights. The shoebox apartment. Laying on the floor with her as a baby. Traipsing through Walmart and handing her the same stupid baby toy to play with every time we went and then dumping it by the cash register right before we check out. House hunting at night driving around when she had trouble falling asleep. Taking her on long walks to wear her out before bedtime once she could walk. The days when it was just the three of us. Her father, her and I.
I miss that baby. I couldn’t possibly part with the young lady she is. I'd be lost. She's amazing and like sunshine lighting up every day. But I realized that that baby I remember so fondly is gone for good and that I miss her. And that I’ll miss her every day of my whole entire life and I’ll never have her back. And that’s hard.
Loving them isn’t hard. It’s the letting go that is. I suck at it.
Their cute little faces help though. At least I still have that. Hold me.