Harper was only a couple weeks old when I sat holding her in the middle of my bed, just sobbing over how much she had grown in such a short time. I wish hormones played a role every time this happened thereafter, but here I am doing it again as my baby started kindergarten today.
All summer she’s been anxious about school, mostly because she was afraid of having a principal (a fear only that child would have, and rightfully so). All summer I’d been fine. I was excited, really, about all the things I was going to get done with her out of the house. With about a week left of summer the roles suddenly reversed. She was ready, and I was a basket case. My baby is growing up and going to school and it feels like she is leaving me forever. This past week, homeschool has felt like a real, feasible option for us, even though I know deep down it really isn’t.
I just want to hide her away and keep her mine alone forever and ever. I want to hold my baby until the end of time. The problem is, babies don’t keep. No matter how tight you hold them, they turn into feisty toddlers that squirm out of your arms, and every step they take from that moment on is out, and up, and away from you. No matter how much you savor each moment, they pass. Before you know it, you are leaving them with another woman. Someone you didn’t get to pick, who will spend more days, more waking hours with your baby than you will.
But for us, to have kept her home would have been an injustice. To her. To the world. Homeschooling makes sense for some, but Harper thrives when she is with her peers. She is by nature a strong-willed leader who is far more social than anyone I know. That side of her needs to be fostered and developed in a way that only that can only happen in school. Deep down I know this, but it doesn’t change the way I feel about dropping her off and entrusting her to someone else.
Though she was truly a gift from God, she belongs more to Him than to me. I may be one of the most important people in her life here on earth, but I am only a page in His story for her. I wonder every day why He would trust us with such an amazing kid. She was a world changer from her first breath and today is only a pebble in the mountains she will move. As sad as I am to have lost those baby years, I am excited to have a front row seat in her future.
Sooo… that was written Monday.
We had taken those obligatory first day pictures and she was just so cute in her unicorn dress and pig tails. She was totally fine when we dropped her off, but I had to bolt out of there holding back the tears that ran for pretty much the entire day. I moped around and refused to do much of anything except hug Hudson because at least I still had one baby!
A few more days of crying and moping… and then Thursday happened.
My favorite moment was when I found myself standing in the driveway behind my car trying desperately to calm myself despite the screaming coming from the back seat. The eye-rolling, the talking back, the crying for no reason and the overall drama were seriously getting to me. “She’s just tired. She’s had a long week and there’s been a lot of changes,” I told myself as I took a few long, deep breaths… And then I turned around.
“MOMMYYYY!! YOU MADE IT TOO TIIIIIIGHT!!!” screamed the sweat-drenched, red-faced, crazy-haired, head sticking out sideways from the open back door of my car. Apparently, learning to unbuckle yourself from a car seat is hard.
Usually when she gets this way, I am perfectly capable of maintaining my composure and helping her find hers, so we can work through whatever difficulty she is having. Not. Today.
Today, her crazy was met with mine. And I’ve got a lot of crazy.
I unbuckled her and we proceeded to yell at each other as we slammed the door and stomped aaaall the way up the stairs, not stopping until she was bathed and in bed. About 2.3 seconds later she was fast asleep, once again acting the angel I know is somewhere buried deep inside her.
Harper has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger, and her thumb on Mommy’s detonator. No one in the world can set me off like this girl.
She has got to go to school.
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