Each morning when the bus drives off, I still get lost for a minute. I cannot believe she is really getting on a bus and going somewhere that I cannot go with her. I mean, from the time she was born, I have taken her everywhere she wanted or needed to go. OK, so David and even May and Bay take her places sometimes, too, but I have always been her primary mode of transportation. It is still hard to watch her drive off without me.
And the whole Kindergarten thing is still tough for me, too. In preschool, I knew all the kids in her class and all the parents. I even knew her teachers very well. I saw them all every morning and every afternoon. In preschool, I even got a note most days telling me what she had for snack and what she did that day. In preschool, I was the "bus." In preschool, she was able to stretch her wings a little, but I was still very much a part of that world.
Another Mommy blogger put my feelings into words. She said something about her child now having a new life that she was not a part of. And it is so true. I can go to PTO meetings and read every hand out that comes home with her. I can watch the bus and wave at the bus driver. I can hang on every word that she chooses to share with me. But the bottom line is, for the first time since she was born, she has this whole other life without me. Now, don't get me wrong, I am so thrilled and proud for her. I would not want things any other way. I am happy that she is able to have this other life and seem to enjoy it so much (except she still wishes school started later). I know that as parents we are supposed to let them go and spread their wings and someday fly. I got it. I get it. I really do. It is just hard to adjust to this new reality.
Seriously, she will mention something off hand like, "Well, yesterday in gym class, we played tag." What!? You went to the gym? When? Did you like it? Is the teacher nice? Were you fast? Did you have to be it? I want to know!! OR she will start singing a song that I have never heard. She sings about quarters and pennies and dimes. A few months ago, all change was either "quarters" or Chuck E Cheese money. Now she even knows songs about the other coinage. Coinage! She is singing about coinage!
After school, she is even different. She is aching to go outside and play with all her new friends. Bike riding, scooter riding, playground, sand box, and all the neighborhood kiddos. She makes plans for afternoon merriment each day on the bus on the way home. I have to drag her in for supper every afternoon. And now she even likes to listen to Hannah Montana (LOUDLY) while she is getting ready to go somewhere. What is she, 16?
But at night when it is time for her to go to bed. We snuggle and read stories and she holds my hand. And for a few minutes each day, she is still my precious Jessa. She is still my baby girl. I can play with her soft hair. I can study her little face. I love and treasure these moments because these days they are few and far between. And before long, I fear they will be a thing of the past.
I promise I am not having a nervous breakdown. Just every morning, when the bus drives off, and I wave at the tinted window with the sweet Jessa hand waving back at me, it hits me all over again.