on the eve of you going to kindergarten

8:52 PM

She's already asleep but my mind is racing. Lunch packed? Check. Clothes laid out? Check. Water bottle filled? Check. But also - how? How is this day already here? It's been almost six years in the making yet it still feels too soon.
Our days have been inextricably intertwined since the day she was born. Wherever I went, she went with me. When I spent three months in physical therapy after delivering her she would nap in her carseat next to me. When Kevin would travel for work she was my only point of human contact during the day, her twinkling eyes and baby giggle bringing me comfort and joy. I wonder how many loads of laundry she's watched me fold over the years. How many trips to Target did we make together? I think of all the banana bread, cookies and cakes she's helped me bake.
And so when I think about this week I get the biggest lump in my throat when I imagine my days now. Sure I still have Teddy with me but it will be different. Permanently different. Forever different. Because she'll never been all mine again. I will never look over from washing dishes at two in the afternoon and see her coloring at the kitchen table. I will never have our lunches together or afternoon naps. Her days will be consumed with learning, playing and making friends and my days will be busy too. But never too busy to remember what they used to look like.
For it feels like tonight it's not just my big girl starting school it's the closing of a door on a life that was unique and unrepeatable. I will never been a young, brand new mama overwhelmed and nervous and figuring out this whole parenting thing for the first time. I was 26 when she was born, looking back I feel like I was practically a child myself then. So in a way, we grew up together and she taught me almost everything I know and believe about parenting and really, when I think about it - life. Children are, thankfully, the most forgiving of teachers. Only children truly forgive and forget. For every stumble of mine she was there to offer up her warm smile and gracious hug. She taught me patience, trust and faith. But more than anything she taught me that love is best when it's unconditional and boundless.
I'll miss her little hand in mind as I go through my day. I'll miss her chatter and hearing her say "mama" two hundred and fifty times a day. I'll miss just hanging out with my best friend. But I also know that as with all things in life this will open up a new window of possibility, growth and change for us both. I have no doubt that this new chapter will be just as wonderful, interesting and exciting as the last and I'm so excited to see her bloom in this new garden.

“...the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.” - Louisa May Alcott

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