Channing on her bike
I was looking at my calendar this morning, and I realized Channing starts preschool very soon. Too soon in fact. A flood of emotions suddenly swept over me, and I started tearing up a bit. This is a huge admission for me as I regularly have a heart of stone. But this little creature has turned me to a more mushy stone…like soapstone. Sure it looks all hard on the outside, but with a little warmth it can be molded to create something beautiful. And it gets you clean. I think. I should Google that. Bottom line, I’m probably soapstone.
The immediate feeling that hit me was sadness. My baby girl, who I’ve spent day and night with since she was born, will be going to preschool. I’ve been her caregiver, butt wiper, activities director, cheerleader, rule-maker, and main source of hugs and cuddles for the past 2 years. The idea that she might start finding those things, even in the littlest of ways, somewhere else…well, I get all weepy. Will she remember how much she is loved? Will the teacher make sure she gets hugs when needed? Will she be encouraged to try again when she yells, “Me no can do it!” Will she remember to wipe front to back? And dear God, will she remember to wash her hands? Probably not every time, but I’m hoping it’s at least most of the time.
Then fear sets in. What if she gets some crazy disease from an unvaccinated kid
? Fuck! Now I’m pissed! What if some other kid doesn’t know about taking turns, or no spitting, or WASHING HANDS?? I am now in a full blown panic about this impending deadline.
Then a rush of embarrassment. Of course all these things could happen. But will they? Maybe some of them will. But it’s only 2 days a week dummy. And only for a few hours each day. Good grief. YOU decided to enroll her after all. You’d think she was never coming back. Wait. Is that an option? Stop. Don’t go there crazy pants. Just enjoy the next feeling.
Now, I’m calm. And starting to feel a little bit of, what is that, anticipation? Excitement? Reality sets in again as I come to grips with the fact that I WILL HAVE 2 DAYS OF MY LIFE BACK FOR AT LEAST 3 HOURS! I’ll get to go to auditions, and run errands smoothly and efficiently with no potty breaks or tantrums. I’ll be able to lunch with a friend and finish a sentence. Or, wait for it…FINISH A THOUGHT!! The very idea of that makes me…um, crap. What was I saying? Oh yes, excited!!
Plus, the best part. Think of all the friends she’ll make! I’m sure she gets bored with me sometimes. I can only play at her level so much. We’ve cooked, we’ve painted, we’ve had pretend tea parties, and I’ve made lots and lots of “sensory bowls”
. All fun things to do with Mama and things we will continue to do. But my incredibly warm, funny and social girl needs playmates. Friends who will no doubt endlessly play chase, or sing “Happy Birthday”, and giggle so much it hurts. Playing with other kids is something all the experts say
she’s right on target for at this age. Oh man, she’s gonna have so much fun.
Ahhh. There it is. Confidence. I’m so glad she’s going to be starting preschool soon. It will help her learn things I just can’t teach her… and that’s okay. And I’ll be able to regain some of my independence I so desperately miss. This doesn’t mean that I won’t miss her, or have twinges of guilt from time-to-time. Because I will. And that’s okay. In fact, I’m sure this exact sequence of emotions will pop up again. But I know she will always come home for hugs, cuddles and tea parties. And, continue to mold my heart with her warmth into the beautiful soapstone creation it was meant to be.