I can still remember the way I felt the first time we took you out of our apartment in China. Of course, it wasn’t your first time outside – considering you were born in Thailand – but when we opened that door to step out in the broad daylight, I felt a bit overwhelmed. You weren’t in my womb anymore, you weren’t protected from the outside world. You would be touched, you would be held, you would be talked about. Everyone would have an opinion about what you were wearing, about what you looked like, about whether you should be sleeping or eating or getting your diaper changed. I was nervous about the criticism. I didn’t have this parenting thing figured out and I was worried I would do something wrong.
On the night before school started, I had a similar feeling. I was laying in bed with you and Selah and I felt overwhelmed again. Here you were, my headstrong five year old girl, and I was about to send you into the world, into a place where I wouldn’t be there if you got scared, if you cried, if you were hurt. I started wondering if I had spent enough time with you, if I had prayed with and for you enough, if I had told you enough Bible stories.
And the first day, when I walked you into your classroom and took your picture at your seat, I felt excited and sad and scared all at the same time. This is where you would spend your day, where you would practice your letters and numbers, where you would do science experiments and make art projects, and where you would have this whole life that I wouldn’t experience with you. Considering I have spent the last five years with you, this was an entirely unknown feeling. Was I really ready to let you go?
When we said goodbye, you cried out, “Mommy!” But once I made it into the hallway, I didn’t hear your voice anymore. You were just fine and probably busy putting your backpack and lunch kit away. When I picked you up, you talked about where you sat at lunch, how you played on the big playground, and the new friend you had made.
And on day two, you jumped out of the car like an old pro and walked right up to the front doors of the school. You never looked back. I know because I watched you out of my rearview mirror.
So I’m still learning how to be a mommy of a kindergartener. It seems that you’ve grown up in a flash and before my very eyes.
I love you my sweet Macy girl. You’ll always be my baby, no matter how big you get.