That was me.
Not the simple brush away a tear kind of cry, but the full fledge tears streaming down my face kind of cry where people look at you and nod with empathy and pat your back.
So you see my youngest guy started kindergarten today.
That’s him. I still think of him as the baby, but sigh, he’s kind of big now.
I wasn’t going to be the crying one. After all, I’ve done this – it should be easy, right?
And I was so strong – killer motivated focused strong. We got ready and went to school and he marched in. In fact, he marched in without saying goodbye to me – which led me to this frantic place of motherhood frenzy and worry.
Do I go in the room and say goodbye? No, that will make him anxious.
So I left and then the guilt and the fears about him missing me or wondering where I was and why I didn’t do the big impressive grandiose YOU’RE GOING TO KINDERGARTEN goodbyes started to pester me. Ask my biz partner Dan – poor guy – he asked how it was going and I proceeded to dump my entire mom brain onto Facebook messenger in the parking lot of the primary school.
Am I bad mom?
Should I go back in?
What if he’s upset?
What if he’s looking for me?
How could I have done that?
I can’t stop worrying.
I didn’t even say goodbye.
I feel horrible.
How could I just leave?
What if he’s the only one whose mom didn’t give extra hugs?
But, but, but in those crazy normal (because sweet mom it’s so normal) worries- I missed the power of my precocious almost six year old walking away from me in that very crowded hallway of emotional mom and dads and walking up to his teacher and putting out his hand and shakeng hers and then walking into the room.
Motherhood is about letting them go.
Letting them go.
Letting them have those moments of big. Of hopping onto stools for the first of pictures where I’m on the side. Of walking into classrooms. Of watching them fall and being there to pick them up. Of believing in them and knowing that they will be okay.
He’s the little one I’ve let go of in a hospital room as they’ve put him to sleep in my arms. He’s the one I sat with and rocked and rocked when he had influenza and we were at Children’s for almost a week. He’s the guy with the asthma and Celiac Disease. He’s the guy with the oldest sister going to college in Seattle and yet, yet here I was crying when I picked him up after school and he ran to my open arms.
I don’t know if the tears were relief or just that moment of me realizing that letting go is hard.
It’s just hard.
It’s hard to let them go and to let them be. But the truth is – he needs me to do that.
Our kids need us to be willing to let them walk through that door and for us to tuck those tears back and for us to turn around and walk out. We walk away and let them go and let them grow. I’ve left one across the country and got myself on a plane and let her go.
That is so powerful.
You are so powerful in those letting go moments. Because here’s the truth:
We do it.
We let them go and we let them discover the world and we let them discover how incredibly powerful and strong they are in those letting go days. Yes strong. My Samuel talked about how he just did it. He never told me he was that scared or any of that. Of course, hahah, he asked me to stay tomorrow, but in it all he did it.
Do you see the power in that? We give them that power every time we let them go.
I know it’s hard.
I know these are the bittersweet moments of motherhood that we know are coming, but somehow we skirt around really realizing they’re there until one day we’re face to face. And then we wonder when was the last time we did something and we work to find our new normal.
I think in a way, I wanted him to need me, but in reality he needed me to need him to be brave and strong and for me to let go just a bit more.
So those tears?
Maybe they were relief. Maybe they were joy.
But they for sure were simply unedited unashamed love.
That’s the power of being a mom.
It’s that ability to love someone so deeply that you do the hard things for them. It’s in loving them and turning around and walking out the door and sitting and watching the clock all day and thinking about them. It’s in working really really hard and making cookies and fighting for them. It’s in feeling like you’ve made a mistake and going through the list of all the worries with friends. And in having friends who love you for you simply loving your kids that much that you worry.
So sweet mom, there will be tears.
But those are tears of victory, pride, worry, love and just being a mom all wrapped up into one crazy emotion and journey of motherhood.
Today that was me.
and if you cry in the pick up line – well, we all get it, yes yes, we get it.