The big day finally came and it was hard. MW cried Sunday afternoon, prior to "open house." She cried again Monday morning, claiming it was just that "har-mone sickness that makes you cry for no reason."
We pressed on.
We arrived and things were fairly quiet. Teacher met us at the door with a big smile and a tender hug. She took MW by the hand and helped her find her name in five different places in the room. And then it happened. The tears came. Not MW, ME! I got so choked up I couldn't talk. It's as if these five years have flashed by me and they are gone. Gone. I blinked.
I'm not sure what Teacher told MW. My mind was racing back to "open house" for 3-p and how the time has flown. I just stood there with this deer in the headlights look on my face (at least, I felt that way) and watched, fighting back the tears. My precious little girl, my first born, is in kindergarten!
Teacher managed to get her to smile for a picture (unfortunately, not the one I was taking, she doesn't like it when I take her pic) and then turned to greet another student. MW asked me to read to her, so we settled down on the carpet with a book. I pointed to all the books and commented on how fun and how she'd be reading by Christmas and she informed me she doesn't "really like any of those books."
We got home and she nearly burst into tears. She told me she just wanted to "stay home and play and do crafts and watch movies and just play and not have to learn anything." She told T the classroom "is different from last year and there aren't any centers."
She got to bed early last night.
This morning she came downstairs earlier than usual and found me at my sewing machine. She promptly informed me that I should not be sewing, but rather, "fixing me breakfast in bed."
We arrived to school on time.
While making our way towards the building, Pastor came out. He knelt down on MW's eye level and spoke to her. He complimented her on the flower on her shirt, calling it a "carnation." Then he leaned forward to smell the flower. That got a little smile from her.
As we entered the building, I clicked away, as if taking more pictures will stop, or even slow down the hands of time.
Teacher's Aide was there to greet us at the door. She's just precious. MW went right in, put her snack in the snack bucket, hung her bag on her hook, and sat right down in her spot. She cracked open a can of play-dough and used a cookie cutter to cut out the letter H, which she proceeded to hold up to her eyes and make believe it was binoculars. I snapped a few pics and half way wanted her to cling to me and beg me not to leave, but she didn't. She gave me a kiss and told me she did "not have a crush on that boy" and pointed to a kid behind her.
I made my way out, got in my car, stopped at the first red light and my heart got run over with a hundred questions...five years are gone. She's so big. Have I invested wisely? Have I invested my time, my energy, wisely? Has it been a good choice to work some from home? Should I have invested that time in her, instead? Have I planted gospel seeds in the soil of her life? Have I lived a Godly life before those all-seeing little eyes? Have I jaded my child? She has seen me sin. Has she seen me repent? Have I loved her with the love of Christ? Have I shown her how wonderful being her mommy is? Does she know, because of my actions, when she's been the only one to see, how much I love her daddy, love her, love her bro, and her sis? Have I been a good steward with this most wonderful life God has entrusted to me? Tears ran down my cheeks.
I've kept all my calendars since high school. For some reason I struggle to part with them. They are a record of my life. I think of that stack of books, pages loaded with little boxes representing days gone by. Have I invested those days in worthy things? Did I live each day in humble reliance on the Lord, or did I serve myself?
Oh it was an emotional day for me. (I'd like to blame the "har-mones.")
It was time to pick up MW. We'd just pulled into car-line when MC made it apparent she was ready to eat (technically she had another 20 or so minutes). I couldn't take the crying anymore. We were sitting in a secluded patch of car line (that would be the providence of God). I knew the lady in front of me (she has eight kids), so I pulled MC's carrier to the front and fed her. A few minutes into feeding, Little Man pipes up that he has GOT TO GO TEE TEE! He wasn't wearing a diaper... we've been potty training. So...I told him to hold it. After loading the girls, we zipped around beside a dumpster and I rushed Little Man out of his car seat and promptly stood him behind a pine tree. Relief. I just hope no one saw.
Here's to kindergarten and vowels and phonics. Here's to a wonderful year... to embracing where we are in life and living it well, to the glory of God.