it was fun. we met friends at a new hot spot, a place i had never been. i think i am the last person i know of to visit the swanky, chain covered ceiling lounge/bar that prides itself on fantabualous martinis. still reasonably priced at only $8 bucks a drink during happy hour. yes, a splurge, but a needed one every once in awhile. so, i kicked up my heels, rocked out my blood red lipstick and slicked back (non shampooed hair) pony-tailed hair and had a wonderful dinner and two too many dirty; extra dirt, olives, and ice crystals floating on top, vodka martinis. yum. i'm not sure where or when i began this love affair for extra dirty martinis, but i like it.
anyway, i sit here at home watching/listening to pride & predjudice. i love this movie. mr. darcy and elizabeth bennett... such a gentle tale of love and what seems to be divine ignorance of the many characters in the movie. what strikes me tonight, as i write this in my tired and emotional state, i am struck at how elizabeth smiles off her misfortune and remains positive and happy. it's frustrating and inspiring all at once.
i debated writing tonight, but when i couldn't stop crying tonight at the pub...after our friends left and after we ran into another friend and her husband who also have a child the same age as peyton and who is also beginning kindergarten on monday, i knew that the tears were going to stream long after i would truly will them to stop.
it has come. the emotional release of something that has been weighing on my mind since she turned five. peyton is going to kindergarten in a year. in six months. in three months. just two more weeks, 5 days,...
with profound embarassment, i was after all surrounded by beautiful, young single people whose seemingly only desire was to attract the attentions of the other young beautiful people of the opposite sex, i broke down the minute my friend asked, "are you ready for monday?"
i looked up to see young pretty girl #1 turn to young pretty girl #2 with alarm and a sympathetic face my way and i think i saw a sour face toward poor jeff. they were, i'm sure guessing as to why i was crying full blown, non-stop hot tears that flowed out of my face like a broken faucet in an old broken down house and the plumber was nowhere in sight.
i'm sure they thought it was a 'guy thing.' i think i saw the stink eye directed at jeff. ha.
my husband was helpless (and horrified) to stop the stream and my friend patting my back told me that she was sad too, but that they would be fine. our kids are ready for this.
they are ready.
but i looked up pleading with her, "i'm not ready. it feels like yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. just this afternoon we celebrated a bump in her gums. a few days of rosy cheeks, extra mama cuddles and baby tylenol and at last, we had her first tooth. now we are getting ready for our first visit from the tooth fairy. i want to go back."
i found myself wondering if i did all that i could of as a mama of a young baby. did i read to her enough? did i take her to enough play dates so she could interact with other loves of her same age? did i kiss her enough? love her enough? smile enough? laugh enough? do enough?
i am feel so out of control of her getting older and i find i don't like it. not one bit.
i feel so deeply about everything, so i knew this emotional waterfall would come. i am hoping that this will make monday a little less dramatic now that the band aid has been ripped off and although i don't quite feel ready for monday morning to arrive, i will get up and plaster a warm and genuine smile across my face. for my girl. because she's ready and i know it.
it is me that's having a hard time letting go to the 'babyness,' because i still remember so vividly that moment my doctor said it's a ..."girl!" or the first time i said, 'my daughter,' when referring to the little sleeping alien bundled in pink who became my 24-hour full-time accessory and the beaming pride that that little fact warmed my insides with; that first play date...a time when we dressed our little angels in cute clothes and found ways to make fancy ribbons and bows stick to their little wisps of no hair. we lotion, coo, love, dote on those little beans.
it was a time when a group of new mama's came together and formed ties that would take us to this moment, even if we didn't really want to admit we were part of a mommy group. when we sized each other up: who looked like they had shower in the last week? whose the bi-otch that lost all her baby weight in two weeks (ha, jenn!)? who was coping better with new mama exhaustion? making dinner again? today those meetings seem more meaningful than they did then. now i know, that even though i pretended peyton needed the socialization, it was the mamas that needed each other.
it was a time when we diced avocado, minced grapes to jelly, and struggled to find the 'organic' balance of baby food. i kinda miss the baby food aisle at publix. the diaper aisle...no, that sucked. honestly, it did;)
i long for that time of new mama survival when my world revolved around her and her needs only. the days i didn't shower and would complain to anyone that would listen that she was up all night because she wanted to be held...by only me. i pretended to be at my wit's end, but who in the hell was i kidding, i loved that she only wanted me. she didn't care about the dark circles or five loads of laundry. no judgement. she wanted her mama.
i want to go back to pedipeds, knuks, and gole-ghas (cracker goldfish) . i want to go back to when my conversations mostly consisted of cracked nipples, number of poops, and lanolin to cure the cracked nipples.
training wheels removed! first ponytail! a new big sister? potty power!
i realized tonight as i was crying a few of my unending flow of emotions onto the sacred dating grounds of the people/aliens around me...i was crying for the moments that seem to be over now that she is no longer part of baby land, but is instead entering big girl world. the place she will grow more independent. the place we have been preparing her to be one day. she will learn what friends are and how they will bring joy as well as tears. she will learn and be pushed to learn more. she will follow rules and be in the company of someone else other than me during the day and she will be okay with it.
she will carry her lunch box with the items she requested, and a few healthy options thrown in from me, and find a seat next to a buddy at the long lunch table in the school cafeteria. i almost find it hard to believe that she will be in a cafeteria, in a bathroom, or in any place away from me, her protector in this big beautiful and sometimes intimidating world, making little decisions on her own. peas or carrots. white or chocolate milk?
i'm always there and now i won't always be.
it's me that is having a hard time, not her. she's all good.
am i a little dramatic? maybe so. i'll get over it. i am sure monday will bring with it new perspective as i watch her walk away with her new backpack slinging over her shoulder.
i go to bed tonight with big puffy eyes, not out of sadness so much as just saying goodbye to one little part of her big life. the baby part. the part where mama is almost always by her baby's side.
i know that we have given her the tools she needs to rock out her little kindergarten self.
she is becoming more independent every day. she is helpful, kind and respectful. she is confident, yet unsure...still sharpening her social skills and emotional voice. she is loving and sensitive.
i know and remind her every day how exciting this first year of school will be. we laugh, read books and countdown to kindergarten. she is gonna rock it out and when i pick her up monday after school, i am counting on the stories she will have to share.
we will go through her backpack together and i will remember again how my own mother did that for my sister and i after our first day of kindergarten. i also remember that i couldn't talk that first day of school for fear if i did, i would open the tearful floodgates, even after my mom said, "goodbye. have fun. smile!" i still remember her smile, huge and hopeful...the same one i will wear on monday even though i know my girl won't cry or stay quiet...she will engage at her own pace with questioning eyes and quiet determination, she will begin day one. we will do it together as we will do so many things together. as a team.
so i go to bed with a happy heart, hurting eyes, and my sleeping girl that climbed onto my lap at i was writing this. my little baby girl forever and always.
i feel better already and i love that the big moments, the defining ones always bring me back to the day i met her...