Thursday, August 25, 2011

big school

she is my first born.
she is my princess.
she is a diva.
she is an amazing big sister.
she is a kung fu panda bear.
she is a singer of all words.
she is my GIRL.

and my baby...
and mama's baby; well, she started kindegarten this year.
at four years old (going on 17).

i'm going to try to explain to you my emotions leading up to this magical day in my Norie's life. it's gonna be hard. and i'll probably cry again sitting in this chair in the grey walled cubicle at work; but she'll want to know one day how her mama felt.

it started a few weeks before august. i started getting anxious. and antsy. and sick and nervous. Lord, was i sick and nervous.
and then, before i could blink, it was time to buy her school supplies. it was time, already, for backpacks and lunch boxes and crayons and folders. and it was time, for her first REAL taste of that sweet nectar of independence for which she longed for so deeply.
mama cried.

skip to the night before with me. come on. it was August 8, 2011.
nine days before her fifth birthday.
she's out of the bath, getting her jammers on, and playing with her brother in those last few minutes before i say 'bedtime babies!'
she brings the brush over to me so we can get all the tangles.
she leans back ever so sweetly to fall into my arms and says, 'mama, tell me about when i was little? when i was a baby? tell me about that.' she LOVES to talk about that.

and y'all, i swear, it almost knocked the wind out of me.
looking into these old-soul eyes, so deep and brown and beautiful. i didn't see her as herself in that moment, no. i saw her as my miracle baby, my angel, my infant, my gift. all newborn and pink. and then i saw her fat chubby cheeks and those juicy thighs eating baby food for the first time.

then before i knew it, without blinking:

i saw every milestone.
every single smile.
every single cry.
every single word.
every single cut and bruise.
every single moment.
each moment i'd had with her up to this very second in time.

mama cried again.

but, i settled myself down and put on my best cheerful grin and we talked about those moments i just saw flash before my eyes. and she relished those words curled up in my lap with her mama holding her. just like when she was a baby. next, i gently explain that it's getting late and we need to get those tangles out. she sees tears in my eyes now as she's turning around and i fight them back with everything i have. it's too late though. she's asking now why her mama is crying.

i tell her they are happy tears.
and i tell her, i'm just remembering all the wonderful memories she's given me so far.
and that i love her.
and that she is kind.
and smart.
and beautiful.
and perfect.
ab-so-lutely perfect.
and as i brush her long brown hair with perfectly golden highlights framed just so around her face... i silently cry (more like muffled sobs with ridiculous amounts of hysteria, but you know, whatever) so she can't hear me.

and i think to myself, my baby isn't a baby anymore.

she's growing up, mama.

she'll never be little again.

yet, the strangest thing my heart is aching for those wonderful times gone by-my heart is bursting with pride at the same time.
you wanna know why?
because she's perfect.
ab-so-lutely perfect.

i get my angels all tucked in. it's just me and roxee awake now.
and even through my pride, my happiness, my joy...
i cry each and every time i pass that big girl backpack that night before big school.

my baby, she started kindergarten.

and she's not looking back.

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