Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Hey, Wait, Monday's Coming A Little Fast

School is starting on Monday for Maddie,
and we’ve been spending the past month getting her ready:
buying school bags and new clothes and lunch containers, labeling
everything, talking endlessly through her fears and concerns about
the Great Unknown Also Known as Pre-K. We’ve waged an intense
campaign to instill familiarity and excitement, which culminated
yesterday in a sneak peek at her new school.

A friend of Maddie’s has a mom who
works there, and we arranged to meet up for lunch –another
practice run at eating lunch school-style – and get a glimpse
of Maddie’s classroom. Maddie ate her lunch like a pro,
sliding her bag under her chair and neatly opening and closing all
her containers. She even cleaned up her things well, which leaves
me hope that I won’t be hosing down the inside of her lunch
bag every day.

After lunch we wandered into Maddie’s soon-to-be classroom,
where she got to meet both teachers. Maddie found her book bag hook
with her name on it right away, and found her friend Elise’s
as well. She and Elise scurried around the room like puppies,
exclaiming over the dry-erase boards and cheering when they
discovered a play castle. The teachers got down on Maddie’s
level and chatted with her for a few minutes, and at one point the
teacher said something and Maddie laughed with her.

As I watched this, I realized that my daughter’s life is
about to fracture irrevocably away from me. Hear me out, here
– I know it’s sounding melodramatic. But up to this
point, I’ve known pretty much every second of what’s
gone on in her life. Sure, I’ve worked or run errands or
whatever, but I can pretty accurately project in my mind what her
afternoon with Daddy looked like, or how she spent the morning at
the house with Gamma. I try to picture Maddie’s life in her
mind, and see myself as a pretty front-and-center person in almost
all those scenes.

But starting next week, there will be huge chunks of time I will
know absolutely nothing about, and ever-larger events that will
feature me not at all. I will gradually transfer to the periphery
of her life, and at one sad point (hopefully waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in
the future) she’ll begin to actively exclude me, to
purposefully shut me out. I saw Maddie sharing a happy moment with
the teacher and realized that in the Movie Starring Maddie, I
won’t have an above-the-title credit much longer. There will
be stories, jokes, painful encounters I’ll never see and will
only dimly understand when described to me.

And here’s the hardest part: if I’ve done my job right,
and continue to do so, she’ll never realize it. She
won’t long anxiously for me, and when she does wake up one
day and realize I feature less and less prominently in her days,
she’ll simply shrug and go on, rather than mourn it the way I
do. It’s my job to raise her to be a confident, emotionally
strong person who doesn’t fret that Mommy’s not there
or, even worse, worry about my feelings in the whole situation.

I know she’s only four, and chances are pretty high that
she’ll cry on Monday. And maybe the next day and the next
day. I know I’m not quite being put out to pasture yet, and
this isn’t about me feeling less needed or not as useful
– I promise, it’s not. It’s about having this
great kid, and losing out on the privilege of witnessing her
remarkable transformation, riveting minute by riveting minute.

It’s my job to exit quietly, I know. But I don’t have
to like it.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.