My firstborn started kindergarten last Thursday. It was, of course, a big day. I made her pose for a couple pictures before school, wearing her new uniform, and then I took a few more when I picked her up.
I was the picture of parental dorkiness, I’m sure, but I didn’t cry or get choked up like some do. This will be her third year in a school setting. I can finally separate from her without getting emotional or anxious or feeling guilty.
And her? Please. I hardly get so much as a backward glance anymore.
Her burgeoning independence is both heartening and heartbreaking all at once.
You grow a child inside you…
From mere cells they become full-fledged little beings with beating hearts and imploring eyes, depending on you for their very lives
…and all too soon, you have to start letting them go. They will never again need you the way they did before.
That is without a doubt, for me, the hardest part of being a mother.
So utterly bittersweet…it’s nature’s way.
And while intellectually, I know and understand this, it really doesn’t make it any easier.
(It should probably be noted that I am also the kind of sentimental fool who cries like a baby every single time I watch a nature show where the mother jaguar/cheetah/leopard, having determined her cubs are able to fend for themselves and must not depend on her anymore, leaves them, presumably to go hunt for food, and never returns. It absolutely slays me; like tearing my heart out with a butter knife…)