But today, there is no getting around it. It's a milestone day, and milestone days definitely deserve time here on the blog.
My baby boy started kindergarten!
I went back and deleted that exclamation point and traded it out for a period. And then I changed it back and forth a few times before finally settling on an exclamation point, because clearly I have issues and am far too analytical. I am truly excited for him and am happy that he's embarking on this new and fun journey. But I don't feel like that exclamation point accurately conveys the emotions I'm feeling inside. I am a hot freaking mess. I know it's normal to have all of The Feelings on this day. I just didn't know The Feelings would be so intense or so hard to articulate into words.
I feel excitement.
I feel sadness.
I feel relief.
I feel regret.
I feel unsettled.
I feel completely fine...but still find my eyes filling up with tears out of nowhere.
It's not just that I miss him. I mean, of course I miss him when he's not here (most times, ha!). But it's more than just his absence. It's that an entire chapter of our lives is over and it both went by painfully slow at times and extremely way too fast all at the same time. It's knowing that that time is gone forever and questioning if I made the most of it or appreciated it enough while we were there. It's filling out the last page of his baby book and looking through old pictures and knowing that I'll never kiss those chubby baby cheeks again, or sweep that long blonde hair out of his eyes, or hear the sweet inflection in his voice when he asked a million "why's". It's grieving the end of the only season of life I have ever known as a momma and entering into new, unknown territory. It's worrying about how he's adjusting, and whether he's making friends, and whether he's having fun or feeling scared. It's the tangible evidence that my baby is growing up and that I have no choice but to let go. I hate letting go. It really, really sucks.
The Feelings tricked me this morning. I've been feeling them on and off for the last couple of months as my heart was preparing for this day. And then this day got here and I threw all my focus into how excited I am for him. He's been having a lot of really bad separation anxiety this summer, which if you know Harrison, you know how completely out of character that is for him. I've been so worried about how drop off was going to go, so we've been really talking up how fun Kindergarten is. Rick was home this morning and we all had a nice breakfast together. He kept saying his tummy felt scared so we prayed for him and encouraged him. I let him pick out his own outfit and he chose a "soldier" shirt so he would be brave when he felt scared. As we parked and walked into his school he commented that his tummy felt weird and so we had a conversation about butterflies. I had them in mine, too. We got to his classroom and he was a little shy at first. He gave his teacher her gift and then found his seat. We took a few pictures and hugged him goodbye and I waited for the huge freak out...but it never came! This was a HUGE answered prayer because he has had epic meltdowns this summer when we tried dropping him off at church or camp and even bolted on a few occasions. But not today. He looked over his shoulder and waved and just said, "Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad." Instead of feeling sad I felt a huge relief that there were no tears and I thought that I had escaped The Feelings. I went to a Mom's in Prayer meeting and still felt fine. I got teary-eyed a couple of times but no big deal. And then I got home and completely lost my crap! As I'm typing this I'm a blubbering mess with mascara running down my face and Harper is looking at me like, "whoa...who died?" Ha.
So I'm really just rambling at this point. Before I go I want to say something to my favorite little guy. Harrison, you are a rock star. I love you so fiercely that it hurts. You are definitely not the easiest child to parent and we butt heads a lot. But I wouldn't change a single thing about you. God intricately designed your personality with purpose and intention and I pray that my shortcomings as a mom don't interfere with that design. I pray that God uses me to develop a strong foundation of discipline and self-control in you but that I also nurture and love you with gentleness and patience.
As we were having breakfast this morning you randomly said the following: "One of the leaders at Creek Kids told me that her parents don't know who God is. That makes me have this really sad feeling in my heart. We should pray for all the people in the world to know about God and how great He is."
Amen, Hare-Bear. He IS a great God! I'm so thankful that He reminded me that I don't need to worry about you nearly as much as I do. You have a tender heart and a smart head on your shoulders and I just know you're going to grow up to do great things with your life.