My kids have grown up fast. I don’t mean like, worldly, they have to make it on the streets, grown up fast. I mean, yesterday I was changing diapers and today two are in college and the other will be there before we know it. Parenting is a series of “letting go” moments. When you first let your child fall so they learn to get up and try to walk again. You let them maneuver their bicycle down the driveway on their own. You know they have to get the feel of riding on their own…and they will fall in the process. But, without falling, they will never learn to ride.
The first day of kindergarten for Keaton was one of these moments for sure. Sidney is a year ahead of him in school so he was familiar with the process. He knew where his classroom was and he knew his teacher. I pulled into the parking lot on the first day and parked when usually the normal process is for the children to be dropped off on the sidewalk and they walk into the school on their own. But, this was the first day. Sidney was getting all her school supplies and her 3 giant boxes of Kleenex that each child had to bring. Keaton was doing the same but then he stopped and looked at me. Very seriously he said, “Where are you going?” I said, “I’m walking you into school.” He said, “No you are not. I know where to go. I’m big now.”
Seriously, child? You are embarrassed to have your Mom walk you into school on your first day of kindergarten?
I told him that I was going to help him and Sidney carry their stuff inside and that I wanted to take a picture of him in his new classroom. He ignored me the whole time and wouldn’t even look at the camera when I asked him to…let alone smile. Realize too, that there was more than one child crying and begging their moms not to make them stay at school. Kids were crying, moms were crying and Keaton wanted everyone to think he drove himself to school.
He was ready. He knew it. I was the slow learner apparently. He did great that year and each year that followed.
The first time Sidney drove off down the road after she got her license I was beside myself. She did great. Then Keaton did it. Then Trenton did it. They all grow and learn and as much as I sometimes want to hold them close and shelter them from the world …THEY are ready.
We raise our kids to soar and then when they do, we have second thoughts. Did I teach them enough? Did I cover all the bases? NO! I know I didn’t but they will figure it out and I can still teach them things.
This motherhood thing is so bittersweet. I’m so proud of my kids. I raised them to be independent and strong. They are fiercely competitive and successful. My heart is bursting with pride with each amazing achievement. I can’t believe this phase is coming to an end. Thankful I will always be their mom and they will always be my babies, if they like it or not.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24