It’s that time of year again. Mommy blogs are flooded with grief over their babies going to school. And it’s true. Some of us mourn as our children go out into the world.
I am one of them.
Five years. Five years – the time I have spent mostly every day with my little sidekick. I never knew my heart could hold so much love.
Facebook hasn’t helped my situation either. Their damn Timehop pictures make me sob. I see my lost blond-haired baby. I see the catalog of daily activities that are the simplest of things – making cookies together, playing at the park, walking to the mailbox. These ordinary moments were the ones that filled our days.
And in the beginning, it was a struggle for me to get used to this “slow” life. I traded in the expensive clothes, the adoration of students, the fancy lunches for yoga pants, spilled smoothies, sand in my hair – yet I have been fulfilled in new ways by his sincere love. My baby didn’t care if I had mascara on. He just wanted to hold my hand and play restaurant.
The days are long, but the years are short. This is true, but I hate the pressure sayings like that or “It goes by so fast!” put on me. I would hold his hand while he slept. I would pause our playing to mentally record our sweet times together. Did I lose some of the remarkable in those moments by holding on so tightly to remembrance?
Time is not our friend. This is a rule of life. Our babies grow up to be cowboys. They don’t say goodbye to us as they rush the school playground. They are independent, confident, and curious. We are happy we’ve done our job, but we weep at the loss of our daily companion.
Nietzsche said: “Let the young soul look back upon its life and ask itself: what until now have you truly loved, what has raised up your soul, what ruled it and at the same time made it happy? Line up these objects of reverence before you, and perhaps by what they are and their sequence, they will yield you a law, a fundamental law of your true self.”
Well, I love being your Mom, Lars. I loved our baby years together.
As I surrender to the sadness about the forward momentum of time, I also celebrate your maturation. I’ve got a lot of learning to do too – learning how to let you go.
I’ll send you off to school with a smile on my face but cry in the car. I’ll loosen my grip. I’ll embrace gratitude for our early days. I’ll look forward to our new adventures in this season of life.
I’ll laugh at myself through the tears because I remind myself of Bette Midler in the movie Beaches as she watches her terrible interview and cringes:
“Now, tell us the truth. I want you to pull out all the stops. We know the performer. Who is the person? Who is C.C. Bloom?”
“Oh, Marla. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself that very same question. Well, first and foremost, I would have to say that C.C. feels things – deeply. C.C. is a deeply feeling person. And, because of this, is deeply emotional. Do you understand?”