If you follow any of my social media channels, you know that my oldest graduated kindergarten a week ago. Sending Jace to school was not all butterflies and rainbows for me. I was terrified for him to be on his own/in someone else’s care for most of the day. Then, I was dismayed again when we moved to Denver and the school day was even longer than it was back home.
Because Jace was my first, we have to endure all kinds of firsts together, experiences that are much easier the second time they roll around. Poor Jace, being the oldest is a tough gig. 😉
But we survived the entire year. Jace is now one year deep into his 13 years of school. I might have learned as much as he did. Maybe more. Funny how that works.
So here we are Jace, all of the lessons you have taught me this year.
I am in fact, a helicopter mom.
Letting you go was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do. Thinking of you sitting in a room full or strangers at the beginning of the year, or wandering around a school cafeteria, or waiting for me by lines of cars at parent pick up… brought me waves of anxiety for months.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that I was expected to just pull up and let you out of the car to find your own way to your classroom each morning…
But you showed me that you can handle it all… sans mom.
I did a good job.
Not to toot my own horn here… but you’re a pretty awesome kid. And I’ve lost a lot of sleep these past six years hoping that you would be. You’re still feisty. But you’re also smart, polite, brave, and determined. CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a fully functional tiny human! You can hold your own in society even when I’m not there. Which believe it or not… was no easy feat.
You’re wild. You always have been… and it’s been a journey (still is) trying to contain your wild without completely taking it from you. But we’re making it happen, and I’m so proud to see you thriving.
Letting Go Isn’t Optional.
I’m not sure why it’s surprising to find that this is true time and time again. But you’re always reteaching me old lessons in new ways. #motherhood. But you’re old enough to want to do things without me, and sometimes you need to do things without me. Not everything, but I’ve had to let go a little bit, so that you can learn to fly on your own.
You’ve shown me that for the first time in our relationship… from here on out I’m meant to play a slowly (bold text for emphasis 😉 ) decreasing role in your life. And while that sounds horrifying (at least on the mom end) it’s okay. It’s not all bad. It’s cool to watch you take the tools I’ve given you and apply them to your life.
You are Your Own Person
The older you get, the more I realize that I couldn’t change you if I wanted to. I have less and less of a say in your interests; be it what you wear or what you like to watch. Now ff I could just go back in time three years and tell myself that I would deeply miss the Thomas the Train marathons. You like what you like and you won’t be told otherwise. And while your strong-willed attitude is the absolute bane of my existence these days it also makes me so proud. And I hope that you don’t ever let anyone change you.
I have known throughout this motherhood journey that I was in fact, raising an entire person to exist in this world independently. But kindergarten has certainly solidified that fact. And it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around.
Balance is Everything.
I am constantly torn between the thrill of the future and mourning the past when it comes to life as a mother. I enjoy watching you thrive in your new found independence but I want to keep you little for a while longer. I want to aid you in your quest for sovereignty but also want to hold your hand forever.
You have shown me how to walk this line. One that I will likely balance for years to come. I promise to do my best.
It was a busy year for us. A life changing year, no doubt. But sending my first baby off to school was the scariest step of all. Not only did Jace start kindergarten this year (thus changing his entire life) but he started kindergarten twice, and once as “the new kid” after we moved. But he was so brave, and he loved his teacher (he actually complained when school ended that he didn’t get as many days with her as the other kids,) and… I’m just pretty sure that this transition was way harder for me than it was for him.
If anything, this year has just solidified the fact that Jace will always have more to teach me than I have to teach him.
Am I the only mom that gets this sentimental about school? Please let me know. Apparently I’m real emotional about kindergarten because I just realized that I wrote this post at the very beginning of the school year!