Monday, August 29, 2011

Growing up...

Today I dropped my oldest off at High School.  Here in the "Belle Province" high school starts at grade 7 and ends at grade 11.  I was totally ready for it when I was that age, but now...when it's MY kid being dumped in a big, bad H.S. I am NOT ready!  

Emma will undoubtedly roll her eyes in exasperation when she reads this post and say something like "Mom, really, can you not think of anything else to blubber about?, you're soooo embarrassing!"  but in my defense, this is not about her...It's me.

I've got to grow up because like it or not, everyone else is.

When the alarm went off the other morning and Scott was getting ready for work he noticed I was lying there wide awake and asked what I was thinking about.  My wakeful state is unusual at this hour of the day unless I'm stressed so that is why he expressed concern.  Usually all he gets in the way of conversation at 4:45 am is a growl, an elbow and maybe an uttered profanity or two because I sort of think that any guy who believes that waking up at that time to "live his dream" is borderline insane, but different strokes! answer was:

                     "Our Gerber baby starts high school in 2 days."
She in my mind should not be growing so quickly.  I know my dilemma is not unique and there are thousands of parents that have a hard time letting go and also another thousand that would likely say..."Just you wait after 5 years of living with a teenager you'll be shoving her out the door.", but I'm not there yet.

Life passes very quickly.
I catch glimpses of her and the 3 others growing up... and in a blink.

                                    But what has hit me is that I am not prepared.
I see she is more independent.  We have arguments when picking out clothes, I think she's beautiful without makeup, she disagrees, I don't think she needs to live on her i-pod, she feels the need to connect with her friends...I remember all the same stuff from my youth (bar the i-pod!) the push-pull, the struggles and deep down I embrace them all because the alternative would mean that I was not blessed with a healthy, self sufficient, strong child to nurture and care for, for a brief moment before she made her place in the world.

                            So all is good.
It does seem like yesterday when I experienced labour for the very first time, when this gorgeous malleable, innocent tiny human was placed in my arms and although I was truly terrified and unsure of what to do, it felt entirely right. 
It seems like yesterday that I craddled her in my arms and wondered when I'd ever be able to walk without some extra sort of appendage attached to me. 
It seems like yesterday her vocabulary consisted of "ta!" and "two!" 
Yesterday we had her first "friend" birthday party, her first sleepover.
I realize that none of this was really yesterday, not even the week away at camp or the trip she took to Saskatchewan this past spring was not just yesterday, but months ago.

We're for the most part firmly rooted in the present, we know she is growing up and away and we really are good with that.

My question, other than how will I emotionally move this kid away to college 5 short years from now (and how will we afford to?) is:

Does she know?  Does she know?

 Does she know how much she means to me?

How much we have loved her and always will?
Does she know that whether she is leaving for high school or kindergarten or a shopping trip, on a first date, or college...does she know that she absolutely, unequivocally, entirely rocks our world and she is (her siblings too) THE BEST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE AND WILL EVER, EVER DO!

Whether she does know remains to be seen, but given time and grace she will know. 
How do I know? 
Because I am a daughter too and I know.
I don't have to look far to know that this bottomless love, support and pride in being a mom and watching a child flourish and become is simple and extraordinary all in one...

Love You Em, and Thank You, Mom.                                                                

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