Today you don’t amble, but run with fury into your first day of Kindergarten. The night before, as I tucked you in, you asked, “Momma, will you miss me?” I turned my head in the other direction because tears formed a little puddle in a tiny corner of my eye. Tilting my head to the side, I told you, “Of course, N., I will miss you. You don’t know how much.” I asked if you wanted to stay home instead and you said, “No, Momma, I’ve stayed too many days with you. I’ve got to go to school.” I laugh at your immediate switch in feelings. Kissing you on your forehead, I turned off the light, trying to reconcile how every previous moment leads to this milestone: the letting go of my one and only little girl.
How did this happen? I still remember the smell of baby powder on your skin, how you would fight the all important swaddle, and the sounds of the breast pump whooshing at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. Your cries filled the room, despite the feeding, burping, changing, rocking, and singing. And now, you make your own peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, you say excuse me after your burps, you sing rhymes in the shower, and make up dance moves to your favorite songs.
In the last few months, the days were filled with me witnessing how you discovered your own likes and dislikes. You’re the only kid I know who detests frosting and always asks for your “muffins” without the cream. You prefer an Indian meal of roti, dal, and vegetables instead of a slice of cheese pizza. You love to work with your hands, whether it is helping me make a batch of cookies, rolling rotis with your grandmother, or fixing something with your father.
Each day you move toward your own you.
I love how every single new flicker is a learning experience for you. As we drive down the road, you spell out words that you see on street signs, and ask, “What does that spell Momma?” When I answer, you are not content, but probe further and ask, “What does that mean Momma?” You possess a need to learn and this summer I caught you a few times on the sofa, flipping pages to a new book. I wanted to stop and memorialize that moment forever. Because your Father and I think that reading paves the way for insight and learning and reflection. You are filled with wonder, something that teaches me everyday, to embrace the ordinary gifts that are in abundance around us. I’ve learned so many lessons from you. Kindness, wonder, living in the moment, laughing and crying with abandon, and learning to forgive and really meaning it.
Run with fury my child. Because you are right, you cannot stay too many days protected by the shadow of your Momma. A whole world awaits you. But know this one truth, Dear N., we will always love you.