It's hard to believe that this little girl who I traveled to the other side of the world for, who I dreamed about forever, is going to school. I'm going to drop her off, and trust her with people who are nearly strangers. And, it doesn't even really matter how our kids come to us...through adoption or biology or anything in between. From years of planning and contemplation or one quick moment of indiscretion. From as far away as China or as close as our own womb. No matter what, they are the most important things in our lives and it is so hard and scary and sometimes a little sad to watch them grow up.
But it's also easy and uplifting and happy. Easy because they grow up anyways! No matter what you do or how much you want them to stay little, they WILL GROW UP. And, truthfully, I've always said that I'm not one to wish that my kids would stay little forever. Sure, I'll miss all of the moments of their baby and toddler and pre-school days, but I want to embrace every new stage that we enter. This is a new stage that is so full of opportunities and growth and excitement, and I don't want tears in my eyes to make me miss a single moment.
Emmie's excitement about school is contagious. For weeks she's told everyone from the cashier at Market Basket to every neighbor walking by our house that she would be going to kindergarten soon. When I tucked her in tonight, she was absolutely beaming at the thought that her first day of school was finally arriving. An hour later she got out of bed and came down to the kitchen and said, "When is it going to be morning?!" She's never done that before. She's more excited than Christmas Eve.
As our first daughter, Emmie's the one who started us on this chapter of our lives. Down the path of parenthood. And as we watch her grow...as we watch all of our kids grow...it really reminds us of what is important in life. I said to Patrick the other day as we were talking about school starting, "You know, it's like that stupid, sappy song that I hate says...'the children are our future'. But seriously, they are!" It's like it's dawning on me even more now. We are shaping these little people through our family and our community to be the future. And that is big. Bigger than anything else I've ever done, anyways. And as I sit with nervous new kindergarten parents in orientation, or wander around Target with 100 other families with their school supply lists, or crowd into the shoe department looking for new sneakers for school, I feel like I am really a part of something important and special. Probably not something I thought more than a minute about before we were blessed with our three girls. But now I know it's the greatest thing I've ever done with my life.
|Last week all ready for kindergarten orientation day!|
So, on this eve of the first day of kindergarten, I'm feeling a little wistful. But, like Emmie, I can't wait for the morning to be here so I can braid her beautiful hair, put her in her new dress, and send her off with her little flower-shaped cucumbers and a hand-written heart-shaped note tucked into her lunch box telling her how proud I am of her and how much I love her. Then, rather than spending the day feeling sad that my little girl is growing up, I'll rejoice and be thankful that I am the lucky mom who gets to be a part of it, and who's arms she'll run into when the day is done.