Sunday, August 22, 2010

getting to day one.

it's late. hubby and i just returned from a rare night out, a date, on a hot and humid naples night.

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...

g'night.

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xoxo


35 comments:

iColossus / Monster said...

My goodness, you still up too late on a Sat night?! I missed your call at past 11pm your time and thought, can't call her back now but I saw just that you just posted 7 mins ago and I'm 3 hours behind you!

Well, I tried not to get emotional reading this post. HA. Snowball. Hot place.

And I tried not to project myself forward one year when my big dude goes to Kindergarten. 'Course, I rationalize that he's been in daycare since 4.5 months old and I'm kinda used to being away from him all day during the week. But still, Kindergarten is the START, at least in my mind, when they start to really pull away. SOB.

WOW, I loved seeing the birth pics of you and Peyton. She had awesome hair, so adorable! I also envy your nicely shaped brows...you looked great after having her, girl! You have that, "I can't believe she's mine" look.

Well, good luck. You'll be paving the road ahead for me!

Miss you, love you.

Oh, and can't wait to see what you do with iMovie!

Nicole said...

Wow. Last day before Kindergarten!! I am up entirely too late, sewing myself silly, and what a lovely way to end my night/morning with your sweet sentiments and that oh-so-beautiful pic of you and Peyton the day she came into your world. What am epitome of mama-ness. How lucky your big girl is to have a mama who relishes her so. Wishing you good-luck on her big day!! xo~n

Terri said...

You are making every mother that reads this an emotional basketcase, at least this one! You say the things that we all feel and I love you for that Heidi! You will survive and be a stronger person because of it!

Shaams said...

I love raw emotion. I think that this post will help others too, who are sending their babies to kindergarten. Just remember that you will always be with Peyton, maybe not right next to her side but always in her mind. My mom is always in my mind, when I go to make a big decision, when I need some help, adbive, a jug, my mom is always, always, always in my mind. She is there, helping me to make decisions, helping me, guiding me so Heidi, you will always be with Peyton!
And, when you wrote about having a huge smile on your face no matter how sad you feel....I think my mom still does that with decisions we make. If we are moving across the country or making a decision that she does not think the best to be, she smiles, a huge smile and gives a great big hug....and that is what Peyton will remember and in smiling and speaking of the excitement she will be so much more excited to go off to school.

You are such a great mommy. Thanks for this post! have a great night. XOXO

trishakent23 said...

I luv ur words and totally understand. Still can't believe my son is starting kindergarten tomorrow too. Just crazy on how the time flies by. Luv u girl. Hang in there. Peyton and Noah will do great and we will be strong.

Kara Brown said...

Oh....TEARS, lots of them. My daughter, Anna starts kindergarten a week from Monday and I too am waiting for that time when I let myself truly feel it, right now I am afraid to really concentrate on what it means, what will change forever, the things we've left behind for good..... Too sad. :(
Anyway, hope your little girl rocks out the first day, and I hope you survive it too! ;)

Kara Brown

Anonymous said...

OMG! i am a mama to two and a "nana" to two beautiful grandchildren and you took me right back 26 years ago! funny story-i was the only mother who dropped their child off at kinder in full blown meltdown!!! told my little one that i had really bad allergies ( carried tissues for two weeks!)i i could not understand why no one else was crying and devastated to bring their child to school...i realize now that i probably would have never been ready to let her go ever! anyway i used to sit outside school parked in my car all day!!! (YEP ALL DAY!) the fear of her leaving that big building (and it was) totally incapacitated me!.i could not function away from that school!!!!i think it took me two months to stop stalking the school..but hey i was a mom and she was my little girl.. enough said really crazy mama!! so as you drop off your little peyton on monday remember, that a) teachers really do watch the littles and b) that somewhere in this world there is another mama whose heart is breaking and also terrified at the same time..we give them wings and we pray!!! and you know what they grow beautifully and we silently get gray hair!! where do you think it comes from (really do the math) I will be wishing you good luck as you and your beautiful girl start this new phase in your life!

Rhonda said...

wonderful post....I am a mess...what beautiful words!! I will make sure to come back and read this after I send my boy off for his first day of school and will let the tears flow again!! Having a release and acknowledging such a great change for them and us is empowering.

Thank you Heidi

Domestic Diva said...

Heidi, so glad you wrote this post!! (I'm pretty sure I needed it as much as you!) I started reading the comments, but I couldn't finish them ... what a hot mess I am. Oh, these mama moments! (And nobody understand like another mama ... especially another one who is in the same place.)

It's hard, I know. But stay strong, our babies are ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS - My soon-to-be Kinder boy had his first sleepover last night! (Yup, it's the little things as much as the big that make us swell up with pride!!)

Amie said...

What a sweet post. My little girl starts school this fall as well, and I would have cried right along with you in that bar. I can't believe how fast the time goes by. Now excuse me, while I go get my box of tissues...

→Daniele← said...

Oh this was sooo sweet! Big hugs for you and your little girl, you guys are going to do great! I'm SO like you (as you're probably learning hehe) already, though my oldest is only 3. I think back to when we heard "it's a girl" to the exhausted first weeks, playgroups, first steps...like, wasn't that just last week?
I'm desperately clenching onto my 1 yr old's babyhood and let me tell you I'm holding on by only a few strings...you want to freeze time yet you're so excited to see them achieve the next milestone. Such is motherhood and it'll probably stay this way till...well, forever!
Also love the pic of her as a newborn with all that hair. She looks so much like my Liliana did! :)
Good luck at school!!

Becky said...

Can't WAIT to see first day of school pics!

Anna Ruth said...

She is going to be such a big girl coming home telling you all about her first day of school. I can't wait to see pictures.

Stacy Monaghan said...

I just left my 5 (almost 6) year old at grandma's for her first sleepover, and I can't stop crying either. I'm afraid to call in case I start crying again. But I will, and I will fake it so she doesn't know that I really just want her here with me. Because they gain so much confidence out in the world without us, and that really does give them such bigger personalities!

My daughter started kindergarten two years ago, when she was 6 weeks shy of her 4th birthday. Half days, but it felt like more to me. And when I dropped her off at the bus all the other moms were looking at my teary eyes and quivering lips, knowing what I was going through. My advice - big giant sunglasses, and a lot of comments about how the sun sure is making your eyes water!!

Good luck tomorrow to both of you. And I can't wait as well for 1st day pictures!!

The Manrings said...

oh i don't know why i am reading this the night before sending my own little girl off to preschool for the first time. for sure i won't know what to do when its time for kindergarten in a few years. it always gets me too...when something is over or a big change is looming. like how could it have gone by so fast and did i do enough? your words touched me. thinking of you tomorrow and i know peyton's gonna rock as a big girl! mom said they ran into you guys at mercato. u can do this! xoxo

Kiki said...

WOW you have such amazing love for your precious girl!
She is so blessed to have you as her mamma!

Our babies do grow way tooooo quickly!

Tisha said...

wish i woulda read this when i could go hug on my babies...

you have prepared her so well. now you get some time alone with baby boy! silver linings, baby!

Megan said...

Heidi,
I have never commented on here before. I linked to you through Kelle and have read about you two and your awesome friendship. I totally relate to you in this posting because my first born girlie went to kindergarten last Monday, and oh, how hard it was for me. I cried my eyes out 3 days prior when I met her teacher and went for parent orientation. Then Monday came and I stared at the clock the whole day just begging it to hurry up until 3pm. I'm sure that is what you will do today as well. It is so hard to let go. It got easier for me as last week went on, but now this morning I had a lump in my throat as I kissed her goodbye as she jumped out of my car this morning. I'm sure Peyton will do great. Enjoy some time with your little boy today, for he will be off to the big leagues before you can blink an eye. Hugs today!
Megan (Oviedo, FL)

Sarah said...

Oh tears...I am thinking about you today, and will enjoy reading peyton's new adventures.

Stephanie said...

It's so terribly and beautifully bittersweet watching them grow up, isn't it? Peyton was such a cute little baby...I love babies with lot's of hair, those fly away wisps that stick straight up in the air. So adorable!

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

I remember very well the 1st day Hannah went to Pre K and she was gone ALL day at school when she's always been home. It was hard and I cried too. It does get easier though and it's awesome to watch them learn and read and write. Then THAT made me cry that she could actually do those things. Omg.

Kate said...

Heidi
My heart goes out to you as you watch Peyton take the next step. Its so hard even when they are BIG it never gets easier for some of us. Both of my sons are in college now and I want to turn the clock back and savor some of those little boy moments, but yet they are young men. As my Gracie approachs second grade I know how fast the time is flying and I am holding on for dear life. You are beautiful Heidi and I am so blessed to be a part of your amazing life here on the blog.

love to you
Kate

Carrie said...

heidi - i hope all went well today as I am sure they did. I don't know you well (only through reading your blog) but I can tell that you have been and are a wonderful mom and you'll all do just fine.
Much love,

Carrie
livinglearningcreating.blogspot.com

Marli said...

Hi Heidi,
Your words bring me back to my firstborn girl staring kindy. And her little brother in his stroller calling after the bus to her (Sophie) "Ti Ti, bus; Ti Ti bus". Like it was yesterday. We are in the Northeast and my little girl will be starting MIDDLE SCHOOL after Labor Day. The feelings don't go away but you get to see them grow and mature and know you had some small part in it. Now her little brother is going into 3rd grade... but they are still my babies when I watch them sleep.

Take care,
Marli

Maria said...

Jeez Heidi, you killed me with that post. She is so very beautiful, I can see how you'd want to hold onto her forever. Letting go is devastating but only for the moms. The babes are all full steam ahead into the big, beautiful world. They don't even look back, too excited are they to get on with their adventures. The six year old in my life, when asked questions about her brother & her dad, replied:
"I don't know...I only know about my own life". A little too worldly if you ask me, but I had to laugh.
No longer a baby but oh so precious...there's so much ahead of us that we will share. Take comfort & enjoy all her firsts. She'll always know who her mama is.

SDM said...

You & Peyton will do amazing! I have no doubt!! I do love how you could put into words what each mommy is thinking... That's a wonderful gift! I've now survived 2 first-days-of-kindergarten... And yes there were tears (from me, not my girls - they actually had ear to ear grins!). I think when my third goes to kindergarten is when I'll really lose it!! That will mark the end of baby-dom in my house & you will probably hear my wails down in sunny Florida!!
Can't wait to hear about the big day!!
xoxo

Patti said...

Oh wow, I just found your blog, and I can tell I have a new favorite. Love your photos!

Brooke said...

I'm crying. At work.

You are such a good momma. One I inspire to be like. I really have zero room to preach, since my little one is 14 months, but I get the intense love thingy. And I can only imagine the years and milestones ahead you two have in store and that's pretty freaking special.

Toasting my future dirty to you and your first grader!

Rebecca MacIntosh said...

That's beautiful! I'm about to walk my Boysie into his second year of kindergarten and it's hitting me more than last year... He seems more grown up, independent, able to tie his own shoes (almost) and last year it felt more like a morning babysitter in all seriousness.
I am trying to love on him every second I get because as he gets older he sees a little bit more of the wonderful and hard things in life and I want him to know that there is always and forever a soft place for him with us... xoxo tears can be lovely.... :)

Heidi said...

thank you ladies for all the sweet and encouraging words and for crying along with me;) most of these comments made me cry all over again, but it felt good.

her first day went beautifully and i will post about that tonight.

amie, rhonda, sharone & kara, congrats on the new kinder kids!

anon...omgoodness. we are so alike! lol

megan, marli, and patty-welcome and thank you for your kind words.

thank you a billion for the emails, comments and texts!
xoxoxo

SmallFry said...

Wow Heidi...
After reading this, I guess I realize how acclimatized to the whole school thing since we've had the kids at the Montessori school for the last few years...

I guess we take solice in the fact that the teachers there are really warm and loving... Brig has been there, full days, since she was 18 months, and I guess that when they had their graduation ceremony in June, we realized how much she has grown there...

We still have 2 weeks to go before Brig takes off to Grade 1... This is going to be a big shocker for us for many reasons... First of all, she'll be going to a French public school(that remindes me, I was supposed to learn french during the summer, uhoh), and, probably even scarier is that she'll have to take the bus... So, we'll be waking up extra EARLY in the morning(the school busses are shared between the French and English schools, so the school hours shift up by an hour) to get her out by the curb by 7:00... Brig is so timid, that I'm sure that her stomach will be in a knot, but she has some friends that are going there, and is in the same boat as everyone else...

The work gets harder... Maria will be going to a Catholic school for Kindergarden so they can cater to her needs and get her used to a more formal routine...

And lastly, Kaelen will stay at the Montessori school for the time being... At least lunches will be provided there... K's loves the teachers there, and is comfortable there... This will be the easy one, with the exception that Brig won't be there to comfort him when he's sad...

All I can say is that mornings will be a challenge getting them all ready, out, and dropped off before heading out to work(Sandra starts back at work a week after they go back)...

At least at the end of the day, Brig and Maria will be dropped back off at the Montessori for after school care and pickup...

So, I'm not too sure if we will even find time to feel sad, we'll be just too busy...

Anyways, I'm sure that Peyton will be fine... There will always be bumps along the way, but she'll do fantastic and meet up with a group of friends that love the same music and cloths and toys, and she will be happy... She will learn cool new things, go on field trips, and work with other kids to do baking and crafts... You will be a proud set of parents on open house nights, and beam with pride when she's singing in the school choir or pretending she is a tree in a play... She will shine like a Star...

Q: Peyton turns 6 this year, doesn't she??? Do the base what grade they start on their age at the beginning of the school year???

Be Good and don't be a stranger
K>

abbey bernardi said...

oh i love your words Heidi. I know i'll be a sobing mess of a soul when Bayley hits Kindergarten. I am just thinking about it. Good Luck : )

Shaama said...

Waiting for first day pictures and to hear how it went!

Christie Clair said...

This post says so much of what my heart is/has been feeling as my two big girls started school, 1 and 2 years ago. I have a 22 month old as well, so I am reminded daily how magical , and fleeting, the babyhood part is. My oldest was starting 1st grade, when I first had the conscious thought, "7 is so not a toddler anymore". Because, in my eyes, and my heart, she is always going to be my baby. It is hard to realize that she is doing and experiencing thing that I am not a part of. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in. Can't wait to hear about "day one". Hope Peyton is off to a great start!

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

Also, She is beautiful!