03 September 2012

A thin, disappearing line

I'm walking a thin, disappearing  line.

On one side is my daughter and our past: her as a baby, paci in mouth; having to sleep-train her, worried she would cry all night; potty-training her, worrying she'd go to college in diapers.

On the other side is my daughter and who she is today, about to be launched into adulthood.

I'm being a bit dramatic. She's only starting Kindergarten tomorrow.

But I am on this line.

Looking back.

And looking forward.

Wanting to pull her backward and just hit pause for a minute.

Part of me is so sad. Because it was yesterday that I was holding her in my arms, crying and amazed at this little person we were somehow so lucky to have.

I remember her first steps. Her first words. Her first real joke ("Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Banana." "Banana who?" "Banana strawberry." Genius).

And it really was yesterday.

On the other hand, here she is.

This amazing, amazing, hilarious, intelligent, beautiful, kind-hearted little girl.

Heading off with a ladybug backpack and an ice cream cone lunchbox.

I know I can't stop time, make her stay the same age.

But it seems too fast.

Before we know it, she'll be headed off to college.

Coming home every few months to do laundry, stock up on food and Christmas presents and cash.

She'll be her own person.

With her own thoughts.

Her own ideas.

And (hopefully) less stuffed animals.

And if five years have gone this fast, isn't it just around the corner?

It's irritating when people make small talk about how "it goes so fast".

But I am realizing more and more, that she's growing up and will eventually pull away from us.

I know it's natural and normal, and I want it to be that way.

But at the same time, I want her to always raise her arms up to me and say, "Carry me." (not like Suri Cruise, but similar)

I want her to always want to sit next to me.

And kiss her booboos away.

But times they are a-changing.

Tomorrow, we start her school career.

She'll have homework. After school activities. Playdates with kids we've yet to meet.

I'm so excited for her.

But my excitement is tempered by sadness.

I just can't imagine our lives not being what they are now: perfect.

Or pretty damn close.

So as I sit here, red wine in hand, nursing my insecurities and worrying about the future,

she's sound asleep.

Not a worry in her pretty little head.

She's so excited about this Kindergarten thing we've been talking about for months.

Unaware of how much things will change in just a few hours.

There will, of course, be so much good that will come out of it.

She's going to learn so much, make new friends, and start becoming the person she's going to be.

And I cannot wait to see who she is. What she does. Where she'll go.

She is so freaking amazing.

But right now, I can't imagine her not wanting to wear her princess nightgown.

Or not clinging to Frog Prince, Molly, Carly and Gloria (her animals that are pasted to her side at night).

I know it's selfish. And I know I'm not unique.

I know all parents go through this.

But tonight, this line I'm standing on is fading.

Tomorrow, we'll step over the line together.

And there'll be no going back.

I know it has to happen.

But my heart is aching a little right now.