Thursday, August 20, 2009
Letting Go All Over
Yesterday, I dropped off my eldest child at 6th grade. Amid the usual back-to-school excitement, supplies, and other emotions there was a hard stone of fear sitting on my heart, and I was completely caught off guard by this.
I thought I would be consumed with anxiety for her brother, our youngest, who started full day everyday Kindergarten (Praise the Lord). He barely got a second thought for thoughts of my eldest.
She's been at this school since she was three. She knows almost every single kid in her class. Her dad works on the same campus for goodness sake.
It's sixth grade. She has a locker. A locker, people! She changes classes, every day, with a different schedule every day. She has lots of books. And a sport. And band. She will be expected to know where to be and how to get there. She has to pack her sports clothes every night. She has a mouth guard.
Yesterday she got herself from school to lunch to a field hockey meeting, to the field, to her dad's office. I cannot describe how worried I was during that period of time. I mentally paced through all the steps she would take. Get bag, eat lunch, change clothes, get to meeting, learn new stuff, meet new people, remember to go to Dad's office. CALL MOM!
I am embarrassed to admit this because of what it says about me as a parent and person. I had to wonder why I was so worried. Is it possible that I have so little confidence in her upbringing and abilities that I think she can't get across a campus by herself? That thought makes my heart stop and my eyes bug out.
There might be a kernel of truth in that; I have, in the past, been known to smooth things over, make excuses, pamper and otherwise fly around her micromanaging her life. (How did I become THAT woman?). I think it's the knowledge that the next few years fly before my eyes as I watch her grow and change and become more of who she is every day, and she'll be beyond my reach. I felt an urge to bring her back to me, to hold her, to tell her things she might need to know, as if I was sending her out into the wide world unarmed.
So I promise not to pack her bag, not to bring her things she forgets, not to make excuses when she fails. I promise to listen and love and fiercely protect. I promise today to untie the apron strings and let my girl grow into the world and to be there when she stumbles.