She is so beautifully independent- a characteristic with which she seems to have been born and of which I have always been fiercely proud. I'm thrilled that she adapts so well to new situations and new people. But. But. There's a dark and ugly side of me that wants her to cling desperately to me, to need me so much that she just can't possibly cope with seven-hour school days, five days a week! Just typing that makes me cringe, but I must be honest. I have been with her nearly all day every day of her life, and this is hard. Her life is her life to live. I can't be a part of each decision she makes, each new discovery she makes. I don't even want that. I've never been the type of mommy who hovers. But there's something about knowing that she's spending more time with her classmates and teacher than with me that just tears me apart. I don't want to miss anything!
It's the same part of my personality that kept me up late as a child. Made me cry when separated from a playmate. I have a fear of missing something wonderful, some incredible moment that can never be relived. Crazy? Maybe, but I don't think I'm alone in this. I've talked to friends who've had these same feelings. Did we take every single opportunity to enjoy them as babies, as toddlers, as preschoolers? Have we worked hard enough to teach them what they need to know to cope with the big, bad world? Are our children going to become strangers to us as they grow and learn outside of our protection?
Of course, kindergarten is just the first step in a hopefully long, long journey. Who knows what I'll do when she moves out someday. The police may pick me up, dressed all in black and lurking outside her dorm room window- just checking to make sure she has all she needs. Is she too warm? Too cold? Hungry or sad? How will I cope? Will I call her every hour, on the hour until she stops answering my calls?
For now, though, we are settling into the routine and each day it's a little easier to drop her off in front of those big doors and trust that yes, I have done my best. My job is still in the early stages and there's much left to teach and to enjoy. I can handle sharing her with the world because I know she has so very much to give. She's already given me so much.