Thursday, August 11, 2011
This morning, at 7:05 a.m., I put my baby on the bus for her first day of school. Preschool, yes, but there's something about putting your kid on the BUS that makes it seem like such a milestone. She'll only be going two days a week, but she'll be going all day since the school (the only Catholic school in the county) is about 20 miles away and if she goes all day she can ride the bus with the big kids.
We stood on the driveway for about ten minutes and watched for the bus...her in her favorite purple polka-dotted shirt and backpack slung over her shoulders. She had no anxieties at all. She was READY. I've known this for months. She's so social, so ready to spend time with other kids in a structured environment. I have been ready...in theory. She's so independent and I wanted to encourage her to keep moving forward and learning and growing. But then the bus came by. And suddenly I wasn't just sending my child off to preschool. I was watching her become independent of me.
Maybe it's because of the full-time Mom thing, but this is just weird for me. I mean, I spend every day, all day with this kid. Except for occasions when we have a sitter (or when she spends the night with grandparents), she's been my fairly constant companion. Tagging along on shopping trips, doing what I do, her agenda set by mine. Now, she'll have a whole different set of experiences, and soon enough, an agenda of her own. She'll have her activities and sports and fundraisers and friends. It's all about growing more fully into the independent individual she already is.
I know she's excited. I am excited too. But also a little sad. My little girl is growing up.