I sat in the elementary school cafeteria last night, surrounded by parents in various states of anxiety. Even those who had been through this process before were a little nervous. It's a big thing, no matter how many times you've done it before, no matter how excited you may be about pushing another kid through those big doors with a smile and kiss, the event won't be ignored for the milestone that it is.
Last night, I registered Julia for kindergarten.
When Katie started kindergarten, I was unable to face the first day alone. The Husband went with us, and the poor teacher had to practically push my weepy, snotty mess of a self out the door. Katie, on the other hand, turned to us as soon as we walked her past the threshold and said "You can go now!" I held my belly full of baby Julia and cried, because I knew that things would never be the same. I spent the majority of the day at the mall with my friend M-, unable to sit in an empty house all day.
It was equal parts traumatic and pathetic.
Julia is so very different than Katie was - she is more intense, and energetic, and restless. She needs more, and often more than I can give her in a day. I know that full time school will challenge her and fulfill her immense social needs. Last night I was practically high fiving the kindy teachers and wishing luck to whomever draws the Julia straw.
I laughed and joked and made sympathy clucks to the poor parents around me, so scared to let their babies go. Cut the cord! I cried with glee, then went home and to bed, where I buried my head in the pillow and lamented the loss of my baby girl.
Is it ever easy? Is it ever easy to pin a note to their chest and send them out into the big bad world, without you? Probably not. Will I mark every milestone with public fist bumps and private sobbing? Probably so.
She's ready, she always will be. I'm not, I never will be.
2 weeks ago