Friday, August 12, 2011

Growing Up

My kiddo is growing up so fast. 

First grade starts in a little over a week.

And more than half of her clothes don't fit.

I spent the afternoon going through her dresser drawers and closet, making her try on things I wasn't sure about, folding piles of stuff that won't ever fit again...

It's a daunting task.  Not just because it's time consuming and tedious.

It's daunting because a year ago, I was doing the same thing in preparation for kindergarten.  And I've done it dozens of times over the years, as she's outgrown itty-bitty baby clothes, tiny toddler clothes and so on.  I thought it was hard then.  I'm finding that it's harder now. 

Where has the past year gone?

As I neatly folded the little blue and green shirt she wore on her first day of school last year, I wondered how it is that she has grown and matured so much in twelve short months.  She's my little girl and always will be, no matter her age or time or distance between us. 

But my little girl is a big girl and I can feel the fissure in my heart getting bigger as I move toward having to let her go and let her grow up.  Little by little, day by day, she needs me less. 

As we continued to go through her clothes, she chatted excitedly about riding the school bus, something she didn't do last year, as her dad was home and drove her to school and picked her up daily.  She talked about meeting new friends and having a new teacher and the wonder of starting school all over again.

Then she threw her arms around me and said, "I wish you didn't have to work.  I wish you could just stay home."  I swallowed over the lump in my throat and blinked back tears as I hugged her back, silently wishing the same thing.

When I could talk, I said, "You know, if I could stay home, I'd have so much fun getting you up in the mornings and driving you to school and picking you up."

She let go of me for a second, pressed her forehead to mine and said, "Yeah, except I'd still take the bus.  Because I'm a big girl."

I kissed her nose.  "But I'd like to drive you."

She kissed my nose.  "But not driving me and letting me take the bus is part of letting me grow up, Mommy.  And I have to grow up, even if you don't want me to."

She has to grow up.  Even if I don't want her to.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

OMG, I totally cried reading this.