Monday, March 5, 2012

Henry Goes to School (and My Heart Breaks a Little)

There are moments of motherhood that drag all too slowly ("How many more minutes until nap time?") and then there are the moments that come all too quickly and remind you how fleeting childhood, growing up, and life in general are.

I remember when Henry needed to nap on our chests--every single nap, five times a day--for the entire first three months of his life. My dear friend Sarah reminded me in the moment that it would be fleeting and that we should cherish it while we had it.

And then there was the bitter-sweetness of co-sleeping. There's nothing like the most tender, vulnerable little being nestled up against your side in the depths of the night. I was eager to reclaim my space, more uninterrupted sleep, and my blanket (and--more importantly--to help Henry separate as part of the attachment process), but I cried when it was time to move him to his own room.

And here I am again, crying, because it's time for another major separation. It's time for Henry to start school. Of course on one level I am absolutely ready for him to start school. I am eager to reclaim my time, my freedom, my personal passions. And he's absolutely ready to start school. He is one now, and I can completely tell that he is ready to go to a different environment every day, to interact with other children and adults, and to return to our family each afternoon with his heart full of adventures.

But still. He's growing up. I want to take a moment to acknowledge that fact, to immerse myself in what we've been through together, to celebrate the painstaking time and energy I have put into establishing a foundation of love for that little boy. His circle is widening. Every time that circle widens, it seems that I will need to celebrate and mourn.

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1 comment:

Gracia said...

I'm 10 weeks pregnant and the other day, when talking to my mom, she said: "you know, from the moment that baby leaves your body, your only job is to teach him to walk away"
I cried when I heard her, but I guess that's really our job: to teach them all the skills they'll need to live a happy, fulfilled life. I think you are doing great and I'm sure that as hard as it'll be for you to see him reach yet another milestone, you'll be crazy proud of him... And you should be proud of yourself too, you're doing a fantastic job!
In the end my mom agreed to let me spoil him rotten for the first two months when I threatened never to potty train the poor child so he would always need me. :D

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