A Letter to my Z, As You Start Kindergarten

Oh sweet Z, this letter I sit down to write is one that brings so much emotion. How can I articulate to you what mamas feel during these seasons. The oft used term “bittersweet” might just describe this occasion best. You are starting Kindergarten and this marks the day that as your mama I watch you grow into a big boy.  

As a former school teacher that has had 9 “first days”, I would never have guessed that I would be that mom sobbing in the car after the teacher kindly informs you that it is time to leave; for class is starting and they need to get on with their day. Time draws nearer and I am reminded that my time home with you in this way is limited. I feel the pull and know that you are ready to move on to bigger things. As we have sat down for our daily lunches this summer, I have looked across to you at the table. While looking at you eating your sandwich, I am instantly taken back to memories of you in that very spot, sitting in a highchair, with little hair on your head and using your pincer grasp to eat a Cheerio. How can it be that this same sweet baby boy with bright blue eyes looking and laughing at me, needing me for his everything - is now taller, articulating his needs and beginning to problem solve for himself in so many ways. Now that big boy is going off to school all day?!  

Please don't misunderstand my feelings as feelings of sadness, but rather a joy that you are living life as you should. I have the honor of watching you become a loving and thoughtful person. A boy who is learning to make decisions between right and wrong, to become an independent thinker and to have a heart for Jesus. Each child has their own way of dealing with adjustments in their lives and it is my job as your mama to support/ encourage you throughout these years.  

After all, someone I greatly admire said “ life with kids is one long letting go” – Jenny (Finishing Touch Décor). And isn't that so very true Zealand? From the moment I knew you were growing inside of me until now it has been just that. You went from being an infant that needed everything I could give you, to a toddler that needed my care and instruction. Now to a young child ready to attend school, eat his lunch with friends and play on the school grounds without me watching. Then to one day a grown man who may have a family of his own.  

But what I understand now as I write this letter - the best truth and what gives me great joy in all this letting go - is that I was mistaken in worrying of you needing me less and less. Yes, you may need me less with the day to day help of things, but will need my love more and more. Because this growing up thing is hard and you will have many triumphs and many mistakes along the way. Even though my role may seem different to you as you grow, my love for you will not. I will be there all the way cheering you on and giving you that love even when you don't think you need it. 

So big boy as I watch you greet your teacher and say hello to new friends on your very first day of school, know that my tears are no longer “bittersweet” but grateful tears knowing that I will continue to be your mama loving you evermore as wemothers are asked to “let go”.