I’m an emotional person. I cry at commercials. I cry when my child cries. I cry during Remembrance Day or Terry Fox ceremonies. For goodness sake, I cry during America’s Got Talent when a little girl is singing and they pan to her parents. Yeah, I own it, I cry a lot. I’m emotional.
But, I thought that as my kids got older, the first day of school would be a safe place and my tears wouldn’t start leaking out my eyes. Boy, was I wrong.
Today my kiddos started Grade 4 and Grade 2. I love their school. I love their friends. I love their teachers (though we don’t know who they are yet). I know they’re safe and that they’re going to have a great time. But, try as I might this morning, the tears would not stop flowing.
When my daughter started Kindergarten, I had a few tears. Not a lot because she was SO excited and I knew she was ready. So, yeah, although I cry every year, this year was by far the worst. I started crying YESTERDAY.
Here’s why: as your children grow, they become cooler and cooler. I’m not kidding. You think your toddler is amazing and sweet and snuggly and awesome? Wait until they’re 8. They have conversations, thoughts, ideas. They’re hilarious and make life fun. Now, don’t get be wrong. It’s not all rainbows, unicorns and glitter over here. They also push their limits which in turn pushes my limits and sends me to the edge of sanity. But that’s part of growing up, isn’t it? They need to find their boundaries and their place.
But, I’m sad to see them go to school again. And, it’s not all selfish, though yes my desire to be with them because they’re fun is a pretty selfish one. I also know that growing up gets harder with each year. The kids get more gangly and awkward, friends become best friends and then the next day they decide they don’t want to be friends any longer. The social aspect of school is difficult and try as you might, your child is going to come home sad and hurt or mad and angry some days.
For me, what they feel, I feel. I’m not a helicopter Mom. In fact, I give my kids quite a bit of freedom, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel their hurt when they hurt or cry for them when they make a mistake. So when I cry outside the school during their first few days, it’s not only because I’m going to miss them, it’s also because I know they’re going to experience a lot this year and not all of it will be fun. In fact, as they grow, I know that many days will be filled with emotion…both good and bad.
So, I cry because they’re growing up.
It’s not because they don’t need me. It’s not because I’m going to miss them terribly. It’s simply because…life.
Life can be hard and although I want to protect those little goobers from the douches of this world…I can’t. They need to learn to stand on their own two feet and they need to come to me when they want to. To talk. For solace. For support. For love.
So, I wave at my babies and I cry. I cry because I’ll miss them. I cry because they amaze me. Mostly I cry because they’re growing up and as beautiful and wonderful as that can be, it’s also heart-breaking and scary. So yeah…Motherhood…you may learn the ropes as you go, but new lines keep getting thrown at you and the best you can do is the best you can do.
Stay strong, Mamas. Know that you’re raising amazing people. Know that they’re safe. Know that it’s their life and it’s an honour they get to live it. So, don’t be scared if the tears flow a little more every year, I guess that just a part of us growing up with our kids.
Also…know that wine is fine at 9am after school drop off because, well now, wine makes all the things okay.