A little over five years ago you were placed on my chest and we became almost inseparable. We were together 24/7 for most of your early life and your life intertwined with mine so much that figuring out where yours started and mine ended became blurred. Sure, there were weekly dates with your Nana and Papa, and daddy date afternoons, but mostly it was you and me, kid. And I loved nothing more than to spend my days with you.
And then three weeks ago you went to kindergarten.
This new and exciting journey started for you, the world expanding in ways you had no idea was even possible. Your mind opened to new experiences and thoughts and ideas. Your journey of exploring the world, was just beginning and you standing at the cusp of it felt large, and beautiful, miraculous, and overwhelming.
Your first few weeks brought a bit of separation anxiety, mornings of you grabbing me a little bit tighter at drop off, some tears in your eyes, and a large dose of uncertainty at this new expanding world. And every pick up was full of your love for school and declarations of "it wasn't worth the tears." And yet each morning that touch of separation anxiety appeared again, only to be eased the second I disappeared from sight.
But while your world was expanding and growing, mine felt like it was shrinking. My days continued very similar to how they had before. I went to Costco to get groceries. But there was no shouting, "all aboard!" cuing my favorite little girl to hop back on the side of the cart before changing aisles. The absence of chatter was deafening as washed the dishes or folded laundry. There was no little girl helping me pull the freshly washed sheets on my bed. I did my fall baking as I did every year, but there was no miniature chair pulled up to the counter with little feet standing on tip toes and little hands helping me stir. And to be perfectly honest those first few weeks were tougher on me than they were for you.
As we are finishing our third week of school, you're getting used to the routine and feeling less anxious at drop off. And just as you are getting used to your new routine, I am getting used to my new routine as well. I am finding new ways to spend my time and replacing old traditions with new ones. I feel overwhelmingly grateful I was able to spend so much time with you for the first five years of your life. I feel even more grateful I am well enough to watch you take your first real steps of independence into the world. What a magical journey we have been on!