Carrying a child on my hips, making little ponytails, spoon feeding.
It’s been wonderful to watch the world through tiny eyes.
Eye opening to simply be and sing, laugh or dance on random occasions.
Eskimo kisses, random hugging, silly phrases, chasing and tickling.
It has been freeing to lie on the floor playing with toys; to walk down the streets filled with our fantasies.
Kissing dolls goodnight, searching the house for favorite stuffed animals, driving around singing silly songs.
It’s been heartwarming to be the funniest and smartest person alive, at least in your eyes.
The safest place is no longer exclusively with me.
You are going to school now.
You will spend a big part of the day in someone else’s care.
The world is no longer viewed from within my arm’s length.
Catch length, hug length, hold length.
I hold your hand as I take you to school on your first day.
You’re nervous, and you’re gripping my hand tight.
“Mommy, I’m shy.”
“Don’t worry, the teacher knows you are shy, and she will take good care of you.”
In the class room you spot your favorite activity. Your eyes sparkle with anticipation.
You join two other girls and they immediately start a conversation with you.
Our parting is hasty. You don’t have time for me.
There are colorful shiny papers that demand to be cut and pasted.
Hesitatingly I leave the room.
There are no tears, except maybe in my eyes.
There is no dramatic goodbye, as it should be on a big day like this.
As should be fitting, when you enter into a new era.
Outside I pause in front of the window with your father, hoping to catch your eye so I can wave.
Nothing. You are busy, all consumed with your new environment.
The teacher notices us and taps you on the back. We have to settle with a quick wave from you.
And that’s it.
Just like that my child is all grown.
My day is spent in confusion. I am absent, forgetful, and my eyes are teary.
I have the constant feeling that I’m forgetting something, someone.
At the end of the morning I’m relieved to go and pick you up.
I immediately know that you had a great time. It shows.
As we leave the schoolyard, I watch my oldest while he walks in front of me. He’s all long arms and legs and he is Mr. Cool himself. He is having a vivid conversation with his sister. When did they get so big?
I’m holding your hand. You’re by my side. Close to me. Suddenly you start to pull my hand, you want me to let go. Reluctantly I loose my grip and you run away from me, eager to follow your siblings.
The years I leave behind are truly wonderful.
And I know there is so much more to come.
But I hesitate, I try to hold on to this as long as I can.
Now that I still see traces of that toddler in you.
Now that I can still feel what it was like.
When you were completely mine.
This is an original, first post to World Moms Blog from our new writer in the Netherlands, Mirjam.
The photo used in this post is credited to the author.