I have come to the conclusion that the first day of school is as much a right of passage for mothers as it is for the kids.
This is the day I have to start letting go.
Whether I am ready or not, Big Dude getting on that bus this morning means his days are no longer mine to control (of course Daddy gets a say too,but right now we are focusing on my Mommy issues). We have reached the point where his friends will not just be the children of my friends… where his teacher (and later his friends) just might know more than Mommy does, where hurts, real or imagined, cannot be kissed better by Mommy.
Mommy isn’t ready for this. All day I have been fighting an almost physical urge to browse his baby book. I remember the fierce need to protect the fledgling life inside me when I was so sick I landed in the hospital. I remember the panic the night I woke up in the maternity ward and he wasn’t beside me (the Husband had gratefully passed him off to a generous nurse in order to find a few hours sleep). I remember my first night away from him when I felt so lonely with his hand in mine.
The difference is today he didn’t cling or cry. Today, he bravely boarded the bus and only glanced back when I told him I loved him. When I raced to school to see him get off the bus, he listened the teachers and waited patiently with no visible signs of fear or worry. When he finally sensed my presence he merely waived and went back to waiting for the teacher.
He is ready. I have to console myself with that. I did my job. I taught him confidence and self-assurance. I taught him to do what he can for himself and to ask for help when he needs. I taught him to let go.
For now it has to be enough.
That said, I am looking at the clock every few minutes, waiting for the time I can meet the bus and hold him in my arms again… even if I have to let go again tomorrow.