"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big Girl Now

Sawyer graduated from nursery school on Wednesday of last week.  She is finished now for the summer and starts JK in the fall.

Just the thought makes me want to cry.

Oh I know it won't be as hard on me as it was when Sebastian went to school.  I was a blubbering, sobbing, hysterical mess that day.  Seriously.  It was bad.  I don't have the same fears for Sawyer as I had for him.  But trust me, I am still scared for my little girl.

She holds her emotions so close to the surface that I worry about her.  I worry that other girls will tease and bully her.  She likes to be funny and do crazy things.  I love it about her, but what if the other kids think that she's weird?  Have I raised her, my little 3 year old, to be strong enough to stand up to that?  Why should she have to be, for goodness sake?  But I digress...back to the story

Certificate with Miss Lisa and Miss Alana
We went to her graduation ceremony.  She has been asking us for a month if we would go to her "concert".  I told her that nothing would stop me. I meant it.

I almost had a huge client meeting at work that very same morning.  I had to have a bit of a tense conversation with my brand new boss, when I spelled out that no, I wouldn't be attending because I was going to watch my daughter sing her fucking heart out.   He took it well, but luckily, the meeting got moved, so it became a moot point.  But, hopefully, I have set a precedent for him and he knows where I stand when it comes to stuff like this.  I had already missed Sebastian's Special Olympics performance the week earlier, so I wasn't missing anything else.  No way, no how.

So, Geoff and I went.  So did my mom and dad, and Geoff's mom and his sister, Dawn.  Sawyer was so excited that everyone would be there.  When the kids starting walking out to music, you could hear some very unhappy littles in the back room, just wailing their hearts out.

And for a moment, my stomach lurched and I wondered. But I know my girl.  I know how excited she was.  And I know about that iron control that she has.  When she wants to, she can cause a scene like no one else I know.  But when it's real...when she is really, really scared or sad, she is so private.  She holds it in, like she's an adult.  It makes me amazingly proud and not a little sad.  So, even though I had that split second of doubt, in my heart of hearts, I knew that Sawyer was ok.  A moment later, I caught sight of that beautiful little apple-cheeked face, and all was well with the world again.

on stage, pretty as a princess
I know about that wailing child.  That was Sebastian.  He has gotten a gajillion times better, but his own nursery school graduation was an exercise in torture, both for him and me.  So I get it, totally.  Trust me, moms, I didn't judge you or your kids one iota.  You do the best you can, and keep on keepin' on.

Sawyer made it to the stage, and saw all of us in the front row.  She played it cool, but did blow me a kiss.  I started getting a little welled up at that point.  Don't worry, I held it together.

Pretty much.

The group sang a bunch of songs.  I recognized most of them.  Sawyer has been belting them out from the back seat, for the last month, since she had been practising them at school.  It was wonderful to see her sing, and clap and dance with all the rest.  Every time I made eye contact with her, each of our smiles got a little wider.  It was one of the best feelings I have ever had.  That pride in her, the love I felt, the intense joy that was just coming off of her in waves- I took it all in and revelled in it.

so excited that everyone was there
She played her instrument, and rocked it.  Even when it broke half way through the song, she just soldiered on, until the teacher fixed it for her.  At the end of the concert, she was dismissed to come sit with us, and wait for her diploma. She ran to us with all the enthusiasm and joy that a 3 year old can hold in her soul.  She hugged Geoff first, then me.  Again, pure undiluted awesome.

They played a beautiful montage of pictures from the school year, and this was my real bitter-sweet moment of the day.  There were pictures of her and Geoff from the trips they had taken- to the Pumpkin Patch at Halloween, the Sugar Bush in the spring and the grocery store just last month.

I wasn't in a single picture.

I am so thrilled that Geoff has this time home with her.  I am so happy that she loves her daddy and that he is involved in her life.  But in my soul, there is a little pit that is angry- angry that I have to make choices that takes me away from those experiences.  Because really, at the end of the day, those experiences are part of the reason I had kids in the first place.  They are the reason I wake up in the morning and do everything that I do.  It's not fair.  In that pit in my soul is my own 3 year old, kicking and fighting and screaming, "it's not fair!" over and over again.

The time I lose with her is time I will never get back. And it's not fair.

Anyway, after that, we moved out for treats and presents.  Sawyer and I had built really cute little gifts for her friends (a sand bucket and shovel, with a bottle of bubbles, side walk chalk and either a frisbee, a pom-pom or a ribbon toy).  She and Papa walked around, handing them out to her friends.  She really liked that.

She had some treats and then took some pictures with Auntie Dawn and Grammie and Papa (Grandma had to go back to work- much like Mommy!)  She was the star of the day, at least for us, and like any true star, she was gracious in the glow and admiration from others. :)

Friday was her actual last day of school.  We made gifts for the teachers, gifts I had seen on Pintrest and thought I would try.  It didn't turn out as wonderfully as I would have liked, but I have learned a lot about doing it, and if I tried again, I think I could do better.
homemade crayon wreaths
Miss Alana
Miss Lisa
So, that is that.  My little girl has one year of school under her belt.  This September the real challenge begins.  She is so smart and wonderful, I know she will do well.  It doesn't keep the worry away, but it helps. 

 But this summer, I think I am going to try and continue to enjoy my little girl.  She still cuddles in my lap.  She still calls me Momma.  She plays with my ear, when she goes to sleep beside me.  She wants to be picked up and rocked and held.  I don't want that to stop.  I don't want it to go away.  I want to enjoy it all, while I still can.  
me and her.
I don't want her to be a big girl.  Not just yet. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not yet".

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