it’s been building over the last week. the first real pangs of it hit when i turned to look over my right shoulder at violet sitting in her carseat. it’s been threatening to take hold the past couple of nights. when my defenses were low and confused.
tomorrow is violet's first day of school. it's her first day going full days.
i'm having all this sadness on one tier because, you know, of course. she's my last baby. this is a big step. it's a big deal. for the past four years i haven't been more than three hours in a day without her. three hours was a blip.
but the second tier, the one that's really tearing me to moist shreds is that this is the last year she could NOT go full days. she'll be in kindergarten next year. kindergarteners HAVE to go full days. (unless i homeschool.) but this year, she doesn't HAVE to. and yet, she is. and it's killing me. a lot. i'm giving away this chunk of her childhood when i don't HAVE to.
in montessori, second year primary is the year when they stay in the classroom after lunch, as opposed to going to nap, and begin laying the foundation of all these cool learning techniques. i confirmed this with mrs. baily last year at our last conference, hoping she'd shrug and say, "oh, they don't do so much. just keep her home." claire is going half days. maya is going three half and two whole. i felt kicked in the stomach when i realized this recently.
i've always felt such terrible guilt over having oliver in full days since he was two. just really terrible. i had started a new, full-time job from home and felt like i needed to, like i was supposed to, and it just went from there. now, i look back and two seems so painfully young to me. at the time, i felt lucky to have been able to have him with me full time for a whole two years. plenty of parents only get a couple of weeks, maybe months, before they have to return to a job.
i just finished carrying her, violet, to bed and tucking her in. i gave her kisses and hugs. i put a ponytail in her hair. she talked about crocodiles and sandwiches. i felt her ripping away from me. my daytime companion. my lunch buddy.
my face started to screw up against my will. i felt like i was swallowing pebbles.
"why do you look mad?"
"i'm not mad. i'm sad."
"are you sad because i'm going away?'
"yes. i'll miss you a lot."
"hey, mom. i gotta tell you something. i’ll be back."
the irony being she climbed off my lap and gave me a nest she had made out of construction paper this afternoon.
i just want to cry for all i'm worth.