I will be sending little Sophia off to Kindergarten come fall. Kindergarten is especially difficult for me, as I know it is for most mothers out there. Something about sending your cute little baby away for half the day, where you have little control over her environment just brings on the tears. And, even though it doesn't seem logical, it's different than preschool. It just is.
So, yeah, I cry a lot the first day of Kindergarten, and a little bit every day for that first week or so. But, after the initial heart-rending of those early days, my heart begins to mend and sending my children off to learn becomes a normal, even welcome, part of life. And then I stop worrying quite so much about all of the challenges and difficulties they might face while they are out of my care. I mean, I still worry, and I still ask them what's up and try to keep tabs on things, but it just isn't quite so scary as it is that first day of Kindergarten.
And yet, sometimes things are still difficult at school. My girls have dealt with friend issues, playground bullies, academic challenges and everything in between. And even though I'm not right there at school to help them out, I trust completely that their teachers can handle it there and I can take over once they're home. And usually, this works out swimmingly.
But sometimes, you just need your mom.
The other day, I noticed Chloe had left her glasses on my dresser. I didn't see them there until a few hours after school had started, and anyway, I don't usually just take stuff like that to the school. I like them to learn responsibility, and so if she forgot her glasses, she would have to deal with the consequences and hopefully remember better next time (this probably makes me a bad mom). Later, I had to go to the school for another reason, and I felt like I should just take the glasses anyway, so I grabbed them and off we went.
When I got down to Chloe's classroom, it was dark and the desks were empty. I knew she had either art or music (I can never keep the schedules straight), so I went into the classroom to check the schedule that her teacher keeps posted on the whiteboard. As I walked further into the classroom, I realized that the teacher was in there, quietly leaning over a desk and talking to a child. Then, I noticed that the child was wearing Chloe's shoes, and her pants....and well, it was Chloe. What luck!
I must admit, my first thought was that she was being disciplined for something or the other. This is completely out of her character, to get into trouble at school, but that's where my mind immediately went, which is probably normal (I hope). But when I got closer and could actually see her face, I realized that she was crying. Sobbing, actually. Then my heart just took over for my brain and I wanted to fix it. Whatever was wrong, I wanted to fix it for her, and I blurted out, "What happened, Chloe?"
And she jumped right out of her chair and just clung to me. Mrs. G explained a little of the playground drama that had been going on that day to me (not really serious, Chloe is just highly sensitive) and then turned to Chloe and said, "Did you see that? Your mom just dropped right out of the ceiling when you needed her! Moms have a wonderful way of doing that, don't they?"
We talked some more, and then I walked Chloe to art. She was mostly happy again, and she told me that she was just wishing that I was there to make her feel better when I showed up. And I knew that it was no coincidence that I decided at the last minute to bring her glasses, and that I came right when I did.
Because moms really do have a wonderful way of just "dropping out of the ceiling" right when you need them. I'm always amazed at how my own mom seems to just know when I need her most and calls me to see how things are going. I don't always let on about how much I need those phone calls, but she probably knows anyway. Her mom probably did the same thing for her.
And so even though I'm getting to this "golden age of parenting" where my children will be in school every day, all day, it doesn't mean I have any less responsibility as a parent. It's important to remember that my children still need me just as much as they ever have, and that being away from me might even be as difficult for them as it is for me to send them off to Kindergarten.
There just isn't anything quite like a mother.