Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What a Day

Yesterday was such a strange day. The mountain just south of town is on fire, really on fire (over 10,000 acres by yesterday afternoon). Sunday night I stood in our living room and I could see the dark mountain silhouetted by an orange glow. The whole scene was quite dramatic and was well-matched to how I was feeling on the inside. Monday was a big day, Cordelia's first day of preschool.

I went to sleep Sunday night with a sick feeling in my stomach. This was to be the first time that Cordelia had been left with a non-family member. In the dark of night I ran through ridiculous scenarios in my mind. What if there was a tornado while she was in school? Or the fire suddenly spread and covered several miles in the blink of an eye? Or a super-volcano in Yellowstone decided to erupt? I also had more practical worries like: Will Cordelia feel confident asking to use the restroom? Will she have fun? Is this the right thing to do?---I am admittedly a bit of a major neurotic nighttime worrier.

Anyway, morning came. Cordelia awoke with great enthusiasm.  I was very careful to foster her excitement for the big day. Eric was able to go into work a little late so he could see that our first born was OK. We went through the morning routine. Cordelia was dressed and ready to go. Photos were taken.

1st day
This is the face she gives when asked to smile...

1st day
Oh that backpack is so big on our little girl. The school requires standard size backpacks.

We left the house with enough time to get there a bit early. Looking up at the mountain we could see clouds of smoke billowing up into the blue sky.  I tried not to let the fire in the mountains match my mood for the morning. I kept telling myself, it's just preschool, it's not every day, etc.

Cordelia, on the other hand, was so eager to get there. We reviewed her teacher's name, who to go to when she needs something, etc. Then we were there. We walked inside and went through the check in process.

1st day

Cordelia was excited. We said goodbye and assured her that we would soon be back for her. When we were leaving she hesitated for a moment. I was doing everything in my power not to cry in front of her and I was on the edge of the edge. She was instantly distracted and happy. We left. I cried. Actually I later described it as an ugly cry. My heart was breaking. There was such drama and emotional turmoil. I simply wanted to run back in and grab my girl...but of course I didn't. The whole drama was occuring inside of me. Oh the pain of growing up is hard for parents. I swear, the door to her preschool room closed and her entire childhood flashed before my eyes. Letting go, even a little bit, is so hard.

So, we left. Eric was stoic.I indulged in my motherly moment of hysteria. Then it was almost time to pick Cordelia up. She was, of course, so happy. She had a great time, made a friend, she likes her teacher and she spent the rest of the day singing a new song she had learned.

Perhaps I am willing to admit a bit of an overreaction here. Yes, it sucks to let go of one phase, but how amazing it is to watch this child grow into the vibrant person she is meant to be. I have a duty to nurture her outgoing spirit and her inquisitive mind.

11 comments:

Tonya said...

If it makes you feel any better, I am already dreading this day and I still have like three years to go.
I hope the fire isn't too close by! We had a big fire right near our house this summer too.. We even packed up our cars just in case. It was pretty dramatic.

Your girls are so beautiful! I love reading your blog everyday!

Roxanne said...

I am glad Cordelia was excited for school but sad to hear you went through such hardship!
P.S. I have those same shoes as Cordelia!!! Except in adult size!
I am surprised that Cordelia chose pants for her first day instead of a dress...

Carmen said...

I so understand your emotion. I'm kind of glad getting Grace to Kindergarten the first day was so dramatic with the bus. It helped take the focus off of her actually going to school for me.

Stacy said...

Wonderfully said. You are a great mother as evidenced by this post. She's a lucky girl to have you fostering her development.

affectioknit said...

Bless you!

Sarah said...

They grow up so fast...it's always the name tags on the cubbies that get me. So big!

Clare said...

it is so hard! but someone told me, that , as a parent, your job is to work yourself out of a job! still, with a junior in high school and a 6th grader i am joyful every day when i get them back in my nest! good job- to you and cordelia!

Rachel said...

It's amazing how us as mothers have such turmoil inside while we watch our littles ones brave this whole new world with such joy! I cried when Velda started pre-K. No, I cried before she started pre-K when I met her teachers. And it was embarrassing but thankfully they understood. Surprisingly, this year with the big K (kindergarten) I have been tear free. It amazes me that these wee little ones are ready for this whole new world of school!

Kate said...

My son is in the 2nd grade now, and I still feel like this.

sophie said...

Oh man! Such cute photos, she is so adorable. I am so happy that she had a great day - oh and I remember how hard that first day is!

Tammie said...

aww cordelia! i cant believe shes in preschool now. lucy used to make those "im number 1" fingers too when asked to smile.

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