"So throw away those Lamentations,
We both know them all too well.
If there's a Book of Jubilations,
We'll have to write it for ourselves.."

-Josh Ritter

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And she's off...

A dear friend of mine once described to me the first time she looked at her son. This was before I had children and she was (and still is) the wise Mama in my eyes. She took one look at him and thought, "Oh. Now my heart is walking around outside my body."

I've thought of that many times throughout the last five years. When you watch this little person figuring out how to interact with the world and you can't shield her from the slings and arrows, it's hard not to feel each little hurt and fear and frustration. Of course, that also comes with a heaping portion of unadulterated joy. 

Joy and puppy feet.

Today, I can say that I've felt both. My heart, my darling, my daughter Nora Lee went to kindergarten. 
This is the moment my heart left me. I hope it didn't sit in gum. 
I can say that she was ready. She has been lucky to have lots of great teachers and friends who have been priming her for this for the last year. She knew all about the bus and the backpack and lunch and recess. She skipped through the day with ease, even with a couple of bumps in the road. I, on the other hand, cried all the way to Target. 

At least I still have my baby, right? My snuggly little bundle of good-smelling love?

This little stinker
Whoa. Wait a second. That....looks remarkably like a toddler. 24 pounds, 28 inches tall, a year old. She talks and signs and walks if you hold her hand. She has opinions and the vocal cords to prove it. She has eight teeth and more on the way. She likes to smash crackers into her soup (cancel the paternity test). She took a purple corduroy pony and a book to bed tonight. She chose today to quit nursing.

You know what? It's too much. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the basement working on my patent for growth stunting potion.