little (and big) leavings
Anna with her buddy Skylar waiting to go into school.
Today is Anna's first day of kindergarten. I was a little teary (actually a lot teary) as I dropped her off. I had to hide in the hallway and brush the tears away so she wouldn't see me. My friend Sasha saw me out there and she said, "Jenny, I know, I know--she's beyond your control now."
I've generally rejoiced as Anna has become increasingly independent--and the way this also liberates me, but there was a certain sobriety about this morning. I'm starting to grasp how fast our children actually grow and how sweet and fleeting our time with them is, despite the sometimes eternal afternoons and relentless nights. But they do grow--Anna has grown--and is growing--quickly.
This morning and last night I wanted to weep and ask her forgiveness for all the ways in which I failed her when she was smaller, when she needed me most. I wanted to sing Willie Nelson's "You Were Always on My Mind" as I headed out the door of her classroom. But that's not, of course, what she needed.
She didn't need my remorse, my tears or my fears. She needed me to convey confidence--to act as if this leaving, like the hundreds of larger and smaller ones to come are just part of the process, a process I (mean to) trust.
Frederick Buechner captures this bittersweet mixture well in a quote about getting his girls off to school:
Creation is underway, breakfast is underway, steam from the tea kettle is fogging up the windows . . . Somebody is crying while somebody else says it is her own fault that she is crying. We break fast together, we break bread together fast. The clock on the wall over my wife's head is ticktocking our time away, time away. Soon it will be time to leave for school, soon it will be time to leave.
Posted by Jenny at 7:22:00 AM