Thursday, September 1, 2011

Missing my Girl

We’re a little over a week and a half into the school year, and it’s hitting me.
My little Essie has gone to school.
I miss her.

My heart is sad today, a little heavy, which leaves me on the verge of tears in any given conversation (including with the mailman) because I’m missing my little girl.
I’m not second-guessing our decision to send her, not really. She’s young to go to kindergarten, with a late-July birthday.

But seriously, it doesn’t seem possible that five years have passed since that early summer morn when Corbin drove me to Harris downtown. That little gal brought herself into the world, making her way to breathe oxygen before I could even get on the hospital bed. Our midwife, Nancy, caught her bare-handed, didn’t even have time to get her gloves on.

And then minutes later, when Daboo and Mama peeked their heads around the heavy delivery room door, a cherub Basden in their arms, to tell me that they’d dropped the boys at the Bannisters and made it to the hospital.

“Just let us know as it gets close, we’re right here,” they assured me.
And their gaze followed my nod to the warmer in the corner, to a squalling red babe surrounded by a couple of quick-footed nurses.
The shock and relief was a pleasant surprise to all of us - a quick labor and delivery - and a gorgeous, spirited little caboose for our family.


So here I sit, barely five years later, with that little spirited thing spending much of her days in a kindergarten classroom now instead of our den. Walking to lunch with twenty other five-year-olds instead of walking to the end of the cul-de-sac and back with me.

Ok, I know, as Simon would say, this is indulgent.
But I’m feeling a little indulgent this morning.

So many friends have asked, “What’s it like to have all that time??!”
Well, like my friend Lisa said many years ago when her youngest went to school, time has a way of filling in. And I’m grateful for more margin, for a break from the tyranny of the urgent, and I’m guarding against filling that time. Leaving space to breathe and not be in a hurry, for interruptions that hopefully won’t always feel like interruptions. I’m intentional these days with my time. That funny balance of scheduling yet staying available.

But - this morning I’m missing my girl. I’m missing Essie, and I’m a little out of sorts as to how to handle that.
A few tears in my coffee cup, and probably for anyone who might cross my path today.

And worse case scenario... I can un-enroll Essie from school anytime I want. Been there before. We can always start again next fall. This could be a really great, really free preschool.

Ok, I’m finished indulging. At least for the moment.

Sweet Essie, I love you and I’m proud of you. Proud of the little five-year-old you have become. Proud of the way you run to people, call them by name, dole out generous hugs, and overflow with encouraging words. I love being your Mommy, and I will always, always love you with my whole heart.