Monday, August 27, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...usually

Fall is coming. I can feel it in the subtle breeze that lifts the hairs on the back of my neck, reminding me to dig out those musty sweaters that I've stashed in a box somewhere at the back of my closet. I can see it in the all too eager leaves that have jumped the gun, already littering my backyard with their warm splashes of color. And I can taste it in the fall fruits, neatly displayed in rows in the produce aisles. Fall is coming. And while it is usually my favorite time of year, this year the season brings with it just a hint of bittersweetness as my beautiful daughter takes her first steps in growing up and away from me....she's going off to school.

She has picked out her new backpack (which she insisted must be "princesses" of course), we've ironed her dress, cleaned up her princess sandals, and put together her school supplies (which at her age amount to a change of clothes, a box of tissues, baby wipes, paper towels, and a disposable camera). She is all ready and so excited that she's practically bursting. She's been asking...no begging me to go to school ever since the first day she saw the school bus drive by her bedroom window carrying a load of giddy, giggling children.

"Mommy, what's that?!?" she asked me with a sense of wonderment that can only come from the mouths of children.

"That's a schoolbus baby."

"A schoolbus?"

"Yup. It's the bus that takes the children to school."

She looked wistfully out the window for a few moments as the bus's diesel engines hummed by our house, leaving a billowing cloud of kicked up grass clippings and leaves in its wake.

"Mommy. I wan'na ride the schoolbus. I wan'na go to school right now!"

That moment marked the beginning of her fascination with school. It was about 8 or 9 months ago. Tomorrow, she will see for herself what school is all about, and admittedly, my heart is breaking just a bit.

You see, for all the bitching and complaining I do about the hard part of motherhood, the truth is, I'm a closet romantic. I just hide it well. I mean truthfully, I do miss the working world, and I miss having my independence and the freedom to take off at a moment's notice. And yeah, being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly tedious and boring. But at the same time, being home with the kids....it has been my life's blessing. Emma and Nicky are my world. They are my joy, my hope, my motivation, my very heart worn on my sleeve. Having them has changed me completely. They have made me into a kind of person that I never even knew I was capable of being. And while the last three years raising them has had its frustrating, even devastating moments, I would not trade a single, solitary second....because these children are my bliss. And one of them is about to take her first steps toward independence.

I am so proud of her. I am so very proud of the little person she has become. She is sensitive, compassionate, imaginative, caring, VERY sociable, affectionate, strong, able, smart, and clever like a fox. And tomorrow, the rest of the world will get their first taste of the "wrath of Emma". Look out world, here she comes!

So, I have the cameras ready (yes, multiple), I have breakfast planned, and the alarm clock is set (not that I"ll need it - she's so excited she'll probably be in my room at 5am asking if it's time yet). But my heart....my heart is not prepared; it is filled with conflict. On the one hand, I could not be more excited for her. She is beaming, and the sight of that makes me, a self-proclaimed cheerleader hater, want to go out and buy a set of pom poms just to cheer her into school. I am her biggest fan, and tomorrow I will be cheering her on, sharing in her joy and excitement. But another part of me doesn't want to come to terms with the hardest part of parenthood - that we love these little people, we raise them with our hearts on our sleeves, in the hopes that they will one day grow away from us and flourish as their own unique person. That is, after all, the point of it all, isn't it?

I'll be sure and post some pictures from her first day in the next few....just as soon as I can put the tissues down long enough to type.

(She insisted on practicing with her backpack when we went out to the store the other day.)

(And Nicky wanted in on the action too!)

1 comment:

KHS said...

Your boys even have the same expression on their faces!
Karen in San Diego