do not wish this away either

i've wiped away so many tears and ben has talked me down from stress levels of 50 (which, we'll just say is pretty darn high).  i was (am) upset about sending her away to a big-kid school for six hours each day of the week which include early mornings and early bedtimes.  i become the outsider into this world of hers where it's so hard to even get clues to help me understand what she's been doing while i'm out grocery shopping or baking or cleaning or reading or blogging on my own.  she's in a school where i don't think the values that i appreciate in a learning environment are practiced regularly or often enough:  play!  it's a bit more learning-focused.  and for the love of God, she is only four and a half and i just want her to play and not feel the unneeded pressure of learning colors and numbers.  please just let her be four and a half while she's four and a half!  (and here's where i cry uncontrollably because...[see below].)  but my husband reminds me that they do play in her school.  it's not like they are making children copy letters off of a chalk-board all day and marching them around the school grounds.  or are they--i don't really even have a clue what they do at school yet?

and so i carry a lot of these expectations of what a perfect school for my child should be.

and like i said earlier, she's my baby.  or, i guess i said, she's four and a half.  my remarkably sweet, intuitive, sensitive, cheerful, helpful, creative, soft-spoken, jouful dancer, funny, thoughtful, tough, and curious daughter is there without me.  which i know is how it's supposed to be.  but the lines are drawn now a bit clearer then before at nursery school.  there's a door that doesn't open until the end of the day at 1:20 p.m.  and a teacher that doesn't seem to have the time to make small talk or indulge me, describing who my daughter is and what she did in the hours that she was in class--did she use the pink pencils to color with because you know that pink is her favorite color right?  did she listen closely to every word of the book, eyes fixed on the pages because that's what she does when she sits in my lap?  did she take her time, using her soft voice to answer you when you came over to her while she played with the dolls, because that's what she does when someone new is talking to her and yet she knows it's okay to answer since you are her teacher?  did she eat all of her lunch?  did she read the love letter i put in her lunch bag, or the better question is, did you read it to her before she threw it away?

i recently read another wonderful blog post from a mother who is going through the same thing with her daughter and the experience of sending her child off to kindergarten.  and really, we can agree, this is so hard.  she used the words "So much that these steps of letting go, while lovely and necessary, are a little like surgery."  and this is that process of sophia growing up and developing her own world to figure out who she is apart from mom and dad, and this process is a little painful as i give her some of that space to grow.  and of course, i'm grieving this, important and necessary as it is.

sophia has been bright-eyed and cheerful these past few mornings and excited to go off to school.  she's ready for this next adventure.  and each morning, i pray for God's protection on her and i just have to trust that he will.  and i think this will be a really good thing for both of us.  i just pray that i can equip her with the words and actions that will help her realize she has what it takes.  She has what it takes.

For all of those years when she and I were rarely apart during the day.  Those sometimes-never-ending days, this is what it really feels like to yearn for some of those back.  Knowing you can't get them back and going forward those days will sit further and further away.  I am glad, in my heart, I did not wish those long, tiring days away.  For it's this season of life when we have longer periods of time apart, I'm grateful.  Yes, I ache as part of my heart walks away and into her classroom, and after many hours, we join up again.  But I remember that with every phase a child grows into--crawling, walking, talking, sleeping better, toilet training, etc--there is both the difficult and the lovely.  I will see the beauty of this in time; and so again I will remind my mother-heart to not wish this away either.  Yes, even with this there is beauty intermingled with the hard.

and just because...

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