Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bit by bit

The first day of kindergarten is less than a week away. What happened to the summer? Damn, that was fast. Too fast. My children are old enough to be in school!? How did that happen?? Don't get me wrong, I am happy with their charter school, the progressive teaching philosophy, their teacher, and how it has all fallen into place. It's all good. And sad, too.

It's been an amazing five years home with them and I am so grateful beyond words. One of the hardest things for me to think about is that they will soon have new experiences without me. They are going to say funny things that I will never hear about. They will take many giant leaps without me there to cheer them on, and stumble without me there to comfort them. These years have been about giving up a big piece of myself to help them find their passions, to open their eyes to the world full of new experiences and wonders, and to teach them about being good people. And, as much as I want to keep them within my protective arms forever, I can't act out of fear and keep them home, but have to act out of love and let them go. I know that school is what they need, what they want, and what they have to do. They've been slowly pushing away from me ever since they were born (some days it's waaaay more obvious than others). But, what about me? The more I think about it, the more I have been pushing them away, too. Over these five years, I slowly regained bits of myself and am constantly in the process of discovering the new 'me'. The 'me' that I tucked away so long ago has been slowing emerging bit by bit, little by little, new and improved. It feels like I went through personal boot camp, beaten down to the raw form of 'me', digging deep to stay sane (well, most of the time) only to be rebuilt stronger, more confident, more compassionate, and wiser, but knowing that I still have a long way to go. So, when I think about kissing my precious kids goodbye on that first day and fighting back the tears, I have to tell myself that the tears are not only tears of sadness but tears of joy that this letting go of my kids means going down a new 'me' path and welcoming back a lot more of myself. What will I do for six hours and twenty minutes every day during the week? I will no doubt be busy, but it's all the little things that I will have time for now, like going to the gym , working in my garden, actually viewing the artwork at a museum, having a leisurely breakfast with girlfriends, perhaps finding a new career or passion, and maybe, just maybe taking time to breathe and not really having to do anything at all. Aaah, the possibilities...

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