Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Growing Pains

My baby started preschool last month.  I needed to give it a bit to actually wrap my head around the fact that my last baby started school.  I know, I know, it's just preschool but it's a day you don't think will arrive as soon as it does.  The good news is that it started off really well.  We all took time off to, as a family, send Baby on her way to her first day.  My Little Man held her hand and my Big Girl hugged her and left her with a kiss in her new classroom.  Both kids made a big deal out of how lucky she was to have such a fun playground and exciting classroom.  I loved them a little more that day for being so kind to her.

The bad news is that the novelty of getting to go to school has worn off.  For the last week she has cried about having to go.  During quiet time with just the two of us I asked why she didn't want to go anymore.  Wasn't it fun?  Doesn't she like her new friends?  Her answer was simple - and one I completely understand.  "I just miss home..."  I hug her and tell her that home will always be waiting for her and that we love her.  My heart broke a little bit for her...

As parents, we know our kids are going to inevitably going to grow up but no amount of knowledge prepares you for those stepping stones that solidify it is really happening.  Our lives have been so busy with sports and school and just stuff that there are days I wake up and wonder how my kids grew up and I'm not sure how it happened or where the last 10 years of my life went for that matter. 

For the last five years I have struggled with where I'm supposed to be in my life versus where I actually am.  I've bombarded my brain with books on CD to try and conquer the anxiety I constantly feel.  I highly recommend books where someone else's life is substantially worse than yours...It's pathetic, but it helps.  I know I'm not a bad mother for working, but I know I'm not great either.  I get close to making peace with the fact I'm destined to be a long-commuting, over-scheduled, tired working mother, but then I can never seal the deal on this.  The finality of accepting that this is as good as it gets is more than I can grasp.

I am a hopeless daydreamer...I still believe I can win the lottery, that I will conquer motherhood, that I will run another marathon, that I could someday wear a bikini (though I will DENY this), that I will win an Oscar for my brilliant screen-play, that I can be a real competitor at roller derby, that I can conquer the gray in my hair and the new fine lines near my eyes and that one day I will be a stay-at-home mom again.  The grown-up in me knows that there may only be a few of these things that are realistically achievable, but it doesn't matter to me.  It's scarier to think that none of these are achievable than to settle for just one.  It comes down to that tiny, lingering, sliver of hope which has been both a blessing and a disappointment.  Hope.  I wish I could let it go, but I can't...at least for today.

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