Friday, June 5, 2009

The Firsts

There is nothing that replaces the pain in your stomach of missing one of your child's "Firsts." I'm lucky. I've been there for most of them.

My daughter had her first big girl field trip to the zoo where she rode a bus for the first time. I couldn't go because I had to work. My husband was able to go (which is good) and he said it was fun, but I just couldn't get the detail I needed to not feel sad about it. It's sick, but I want to know everything from start to finish. I want to visualize the sweet smile on her face when she held a friends hand, I want to hear her joyous laughter while she's eating lunch with her peers, I wanted to sigh with a full heart at the way she surely held her dad's hand when making her way through the animals. I wanted to experience the full excitement a "First" brings.

"Maybe the next kid" I tell myself, half heartedly knowing that I may miss it with the next kid too. I read an article recently about a mom who had been laid off and for the first time she was able to be home with her kids. Her kids were now in high school and she found they didn't need her like they had when they were little. There was no classroom party planning or volunteering, no more cute recitals to be worked on and there were no more cute art projects to put together. She was still happy to be there, but it was bittersweet. I don't want to miss the early years.

Some will argue that you need to keep parts of your life for just you; that you're children cannot be your everything. I would argue that these sweet moments with my kids are what comprise a joyous life for me. They are my everything. I don't get up and go to work to feel fulfilled. I go so I can provide for them. When you don't see them but a few hours a day the drool on their face begins to look important and time home becomes a luxury.

I missed her first field trip, but thankfully I will be there for the last day of her kindergarten year. How fast it's going by...

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