I know what you might have been thinking. “Why is Mom in such a hurry to leave me here on my first full day of preschool?” There isn’t an easy answer for that, at least not one that won’t leave me in a puddle of tears. But I rushed home so I could try to give you some explanation for my unceremonious exit in the best way I know how; by writing it down.
You’re embarking on your adventure into the big world and unexpected things will make a forever impression on you. After orientation last week, you told me about how you used “paste.” I understand, there is really nothing very exciting about paste. But I remember hearing you say that word as you explained to me that you “pasted marshmallows onto paper leaves.” You’d never used paste before and you were so excited about the project and wanted to tell me everything. And seeing your tiny face light up just from something so simple showed me how ready you are to leave the nest, our home, and begin growing up.
My last baby is ready. You only fit in my arms when you want to and it only lasts for a few seconds at best. Now I know those days are numbered. Today marks the day when the appeal of snuggling with your mom starts waning. You will begin to see how little you need me. Ironically, I prayed for days like this when the monotony and frustrations of motherhood consumed me, but now that grandmotherly advice of, “You’ll pray for those days to come back,” is ringing in my ears.
I know you’ll still need me for many things, but the little things are always the first to go and happen to be my favorites. Kissing your boo-boos, singing you songs before bedtime, and having our tea parties (Please love having tea parties to an inappropriate old age)… you will eventually look at me sideways when I ask if you want to do those things.
Holding your hand to the door today, I noticed for the millionth time how your fingers feel like satiny flower petals. When you were a baby, I always marveled at how long your fingers are and I would kiss them a dozen times a day–I still don’t think I kissed them enough. And now those sweet fingers are going to hold crayons and pencils every day. Eventually they are going to write words and all of your amazing thoughts and ideas.
Today, you looked so small walking to the big double doors. Your blonde ponytail was bobbing in the sun as you bounced into school, your butterfly backpack hanging from your shoulders. Wasn’t it just five minutes ago that your little blonde head peeked over the back of your baby swing, your feet barely reaching the edge of the seat? Now I’m standing here saying, “I love you. I’ll see you at 3:00.”
So that, my sweet girl, is why I walked quickly away after kissing your cheek. All of those thoughts were threatening to come raining out of my eyes and I couldn’t bear to upset you on a day that is so happy for you; the day you take your first independent steps in becoming all that you are destined to be. But please forgive me if I still sometimes see you as my baby girl because really, you will always be.