Thursday, August 10, 2006

"laughed as she came to my cradle, Oh, this child will be able"

She took her seat, a red crayon and got to work on her beautiful picture of Elmo.

"Bye, Mommy. I love you!"

And this was how I left her on her first day of kindergarten.

DH and I both took her. It was the only day we are allowed to walk her to her classroom.

The halls were filled with kindergarteners, parents, little brothers and/or sisters looking for their classrooms. DH had teased me about snapping pictures of DD on her first day of kindergarten. I was pleased to see many other parents snapping pictures of their little ones. (NahNeeNahNeeBooBoo)

I had forgotten DD's name tag, intended to assist the kiddos find their classrooms if they get a little lost. As I returned with the very valuable bumble bee name tag, I saw a friend from church with her little boy, also starting kindergarten today. Outside DD's classroom, where she sat in her seat contendedly working on her beautiful picture of Elmo, there was a hispanic little girl with her mother looking for her classroom. It appeared that neither the child nor the mother spoke English and the two teachers trying their darnedest didn't speak Spanish - or enough of it to understand what they were looking for.

I draped DD's name tag around her neck. She glaced up from her beautiful picture of Elmo to thank me. I got another kiss before being dismissed by her again. NOT by her teacher - Mrs Ward didn't mind my being there again at all. It was DD that was ready for me to go. (can you hear my heart breaking???)

As I walked the LONGEST walk of my life back to my Pimp-Mombile, I saw my friend from church holding her son in her lap in a full-on "don't leave me Mommy" embrace. She gave me the look of a mommy with a breaking heart.

The breaking heart is a paradox.
+She is proud of her baby reaching this new stage of growth and development.
-She wishes her baby would just cuddle up and let her hold her for hours.
+She is excited to see all the new changes in her baby.
-She wishes her baby wouldn't change at all.
+She is excited to see her baby develop a new level of independence and maturity.
-She wants her baby to remain a baby. (Who needs a "big girl" after all???)

I now wonder why it seems that my baby (ahem, big girl) doesn't need me anymore and the other mommies are still needed by their babies. This is just not fair.

I was telling DH last night that I never thought this day would arrive. Not in the way that I thought one of us wouldn't live this long. But in the way that it seemed so unbelievably far away in the daily busy-ness of life with my baby (yes, BABY!) In the same way that I thought I'd never reach 35 y-o or our 14th wedding anniversary or have a niece that is wearing a bra and shaving her legs!

A quick tangent about DH:

If you don't know him very closely, you would never guess that he is nothing but a gruff, deer-hunting, outdoors kind of guy. He plays that part very well and is proud of it too. It's his badge of honor. He knows that people either really like or really don't like him - and that has been his goal.

The truth is that behind that grizzly bear exterior is Winnie the Pooh. He is a very tender-hearted, loving, doting, affectionate husband and dad. He's one of the best dads I know - even when compared to my own. He tries his best to be the tough guy with DD. We fuss occasionally when he says I don't follow-through with my promised punishments, and then he will step in and spoil her to the Nth degree when I'm trying to be the disciplinarian he dreams of. (Yes, it makes me mad. But my anger is dissipated by the memory of him crying at her birth and how he stroked her soft, newborn skin as she screamed for 30 minutes after her first bath.)

So, last week, as he and I discussed MY unwelcomed task of taking DD to her first day of kindergarten. He made it clear that he would not be able to escort her with me but would definitely would be the one to pick her up that afternoon. (the big tooty made it clear that he would not be able to handle the heartbreak of leaving her) Wellllll... we talked again and he had a look on his face that said he would be there that first morning.

So, DH was one of the proud minority of daddies taking their babies to their first day of kindergarten. Did I say that he was proud to do it? He loves the attention he gets for being the attentive and involved dad that he is.

And I am sooooo very thankful for that quality in DH's character. Yup, I got me a keeper, all right. DD has a wonderful daddy.

Thank you, Lord, for my little family.


SouthernTransplant said...

Awwww...what great memories!

Sarah said...

Hey, I just stumbled across your blog, I am not really sure why. I am pregnant too, but with my first, and I am due February 9. It is cool to find a blog of someone due so close to me.
How are you feeling? My morning sickness seemed to dispapear half way in between week 12 and 13, to which I am so thankful. Except now my extreme fatigue has been replaced by an almost insomnia. I just can't get to sleep at night.
I loved seeing your early ultrasound. I had one too, done at 7 weeks, for the same reason. I had a little pain in my side, which turned out to be my round ligament stretching.
I will definately be coming back to your blog again.