Monday, March 17, 2008

"Where joy and sorrow meet..."

Clothes washed and pressed, breakfast planned, bags packed......No, the Bubs and I are not going on a trip. Tomorrow is our first day of pre-school.

I've kept a positive, encouraging face on for most of the day. Bubs has no idea that as much as I'm excited for this new and, for us, ginormous step in his life my heart is feeling a little bruised.
I've put off blogging about this. I didn't want to face the fact that our precious Bubs is growing up. Yes, the signs have been there and I've known that big steps were in his future...I just didn't realize the future was today.

I've spent most of this evening keeping busy with preparations for tomorrow's big adventure, blatantly trying to keep my mixed emotions at bay. This worked just fine......right up until I went into our storage/laundry room to do yet another load of laundry. I was absent-mindedly carrying out my task when I happened to glance up at all of the baby equipment that we've yet to clear out. The tub that my Hubby gave the Bubs his first bath in, the mattress from his crib, the baby gate that he figured out how to get around in no time flat, and other baby toys....each and every item connected with an infinitely precious memory of the Bubs. Y'all, overwhelmed does not even come close to describing how I felt in that moment. Memory after memory rose to the forefront of my mind, each one sweeter than the one before. My heart pounded, my eyes became hot, my throat constricted and I couldn't seem to draw a proper breath. I stood there for the longest time, ensnared by baby-hood memories and thoughts that a chapter in my child's life was coming to an end. Without fully realizing it, tears had begun to stream down my face and I had begun whispering, "He'll only be there for half a day. It's only half a day."

To come to the realization that the Bubs needed something that I couldn't provide at home -socialization and classroom skills- after a little over 5 years was hard. To finally make the decision to pursue pre-school and physically fill out all the paperwork after taking the tour of the facility this afternoon was monumental. I'm quickly coming to realize that watching him walk away from me tomorrow morning and the drive home will be more difficult than I ever thought it would be.

Having said all that, I know that on the other side of sorrow, there is joy. I know that the Bubs is very excited to learn new things and make new friends. He needs to know what it's like to be away from Mom and to be in a structured classroom, where he has to listen, follow directions and be mindful of other children around him. He starts kindergarten in the fall, so what kind of mom would I be if I didn't prepare him for what's to come? It's a wonderful thing to watch a child grow up and discover new things. I'm looking forward to being there to celebrate each and every new accomplishment and discovery that the Bubs makes.


Jonny's Mommy said...

Sweetheart..I had a similar situation last night, but not as monumental. I was thinking about a warm pair of pajamas and how Jonathan wouldn't need them much longer this year and wondering if they would fit next year. Then it hit me-- next year he'd be two and probably not interested in cuddling with his mommy during the cold weather. The year after that he'd be pushing me away more. that feeling you described in your blog..that is how I felt, but you put it into words so perfectly. Everything constricted and my head went funny. I felt numb and started to choke back a sob. It is so weird that this was happening to us around the same time for the same, yet different reasons. We'll be praying for you, kid. He's going to do wonderful!

Anne Marie said...

Oh Anna, it is very hard to watch your child take those big steps. My kids love school and their friends and making their place in the world, yet in the back of my mind I want them to stay here with me. It is so scary when they set out yet it is the most natural progression in life... I get sad when I look at the containers full of the Thomas the Tank Engine train set and all the wood tracks that my kiddos spent hours playing with. It is so hard to let them go yet for them it is sooo exciting!!! Take care!

Anna K. said...

jonny's mommy-It must be something in the air! ;o)
Don't worry about the snuggling with mommy thing. The Bubs is 5 and still likes to sit and chill with me. I think that the "snuggling" has morphed into "hanging out", though. Either way, I love it!

anne marie- It's nice to get encouragement and empathy from someone who's been there! Thanks, Shug!