Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I received a bunch of emails tonight from Ethan's charter school. The school that he will be starting in 27 days. I also got my carpool list, a list of women who will be taking turns with me driving our children, our babies to school. It became so real to me. So scary, terrorfing and so real. I went into his room and looked at him. When babies are born they have the sucking reflex, I'm not sure if that's what it called but that's what I call it. Sometimes when they are asleep they suck and it looks like they are sucking on some imaginary binki or bottle or something and it is so beautifully sweet. Tonight I sat next to Ethan, asleep on his bed, and he did that little sucking thing. My sweet little five year old is leaving and I know things will never be the same.
Change happens. I know this. His first five years have been filled with hundreds of milestones, countless changes. That's life. Right? So why is this so hard. Why does it hurt so much. Why do I feel like I am sending him off to the wolves.

Get over it. That's what the seasoned moms are thinking right now. They've done this before. They know how it will, "all work out." They are smiling at the young inexperienced mom the same way I smile at a new mom who panics at every peep of her infant. And part of me wants to. Part of me wants to "get over it" and jump into this new phase in my life, this new era in Ethan's. But another part of me is holding on.

Someone once told me that you never get to have your first baby again. I didn't know what they meant..."Duh? Of course you never get to have your first baby again. Simple math." But they were right. You never get to experience the wonder and miracle of bringing your first child, a literal child of God into this world, again. Each thing Ethan did was just as new to me as it was to him. Eating, laughing, crying, crawling, rolling, walking, discovering, talking, smiling, singing, nursery, coloring - we learned it together. My grandma once told me that your love changes for your children as they age...it always just as strong but different. I guess she's right...you probably don't feel the exact same types of emotions for your son at 40 that you did at 4. So although a part of me wants to join the seasoned moms, part of me wants to "get over it," another part of me wants to hang on to my innocence, to hold on to the tender feelings I'm feeling for my son right now. I don't know how many more 5 year olds I'll have, that part's difficult for me. This summer changed everything - I don't know how many more times I will get to do this and I want to savor, to capture, every moment somewhere deep inside in the archives of my heart. One day I will be experienced, this won't hurt so much, and I look forward to that day. How comforting that will be! But for now, this first time mom is struggling to let him go, struggling to accept the changes that will come with or without my approval. Struggling to become seasoned.


Rachel Chick said...

You made me cry, Andrea. (Still crying) Not nice. (((sign))) Just know that you're not alone. At least this mom understands how you feel . . . :)

bensey said...


i love the way you wrote this even though what you're writing about is really sad. and i don't think that those "seasoned" mothers are saying "just get over it." i'm sure they all remember their first experience & how difficult it was to watch their first child go off into the world. i haven't met one mom who didn't cry watching their 5-yr. old walk up to the school doors with their little back pack ready to face the world.

really, i can't even get a grip on sending caleb and we've still got a while.

on another note, i think it's awesome that you got him into a charter school.

love you andrea, and can't wait to be there with my box of tissues ready. we will have to share though because even though ethan isn't my child, i'm sure my tear ducts will fill.

Rachel H. said...

That is so tough...I too am dreading that day when life goes from full protection and innocence to the big world. I loved reading your sentiments...gettin' teary eyed myself. Darn it! Why do kids grow so fast?

Marci Ward said...

You are a beautiful writer! I am not looking forward to this day either. It is going to be bitter sweet I think. Andrew is going to preschool this year and I think HORRAY for me, I'll get some peace and get a lot done. But at the same time when it really comes down to it, I'm going to be crying and missing him instantly! We feel your pain! I think you are an amazing mother for enjoing everything about Ethan. More of us should stop to smell the roses and enjoy our little guys while we have them.

Megan said...

Savor the moment! It will be gone in a flash. And on that first day of school, you will be a mess. Trust me, I've been there. :)
Enjoy it!

Wendy Kenck said...

What is character school?
On a second note, you were looking for a cute colorful map to add to your boys room, take a look at the URL below see what you think.