First Day

15 Nov

Our very first school meeting.

Tiny chairs, awkward strangers sitting in a circle. Smiling comma’s. Book smell in the library-one of those half doors schools always seem to have and yet never use. Huddled letters on washed out construction paper, tissue poppies on a bulletin board. Teachers staring at my tattoos. Other parents eyeing each other warily.

Tiny urinals and sinks.

I walked up to that door with tears in my eyes, recognizing this as the first step in the rest of her life-the opening act of her future. What she experiences in that school will help form her into the adult she will be. Her memories will begin now. Those math exercises, the overhead with the words, the noisy computer running XP, all of these things will form into her mind a single thought, a single past.

As she begins, I must let go. This terrifies me-if I’m honest, I’m selfish. I want my daughter, my first born, she who named herself and slept first under my heart all for me. I want to be her sun and moon. I want to be her guide and mentor. I don’t want to lose her to the petty heartbreaks of school, the betrayals, the wounding done almost unconsciously. I want her to remain pure and whole and as enchanting tomorrow as she is today.

This is the ending of an age. An age that began over 4 years ago when I realized I was pregnant, and began to understand what that really meant. An age when I knew I was solely responsible for guarding my child. When I alone could provide for her. Now, I have to open my hands and let her loose free into the wind, as I stand behind her, waiting in case she stumbles and needs me again for a little while.

She’ll never need me quite so much ever again. And while part of me is glad for this, welcomes her growing up as a necessary and joyous part of living, the other half of me mourns this passing.

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10 Responses to “First Day”

  1. jen November 15, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    oh, i know. the bitter and the sweet. you did good, mama.

  2. Bon November 15, 2007 at 9:29 pm #

    god damn it, this was beautiful, Thordora.

    and i giggled a little at the thought of the teachers giving your tattoos the stinkeye. how much we think we can read at a glance.

    i doubt this post was in that oh-so-small and limited picture they painted.

  3. Hannah November 16, 2007 at 8:21 am #

    I know I should be saying something profound about how this touched me – and it did – but mostly I too am giggling at the reaction of the other parents to your tattoos.

    I felt like this the first full day I left my baby boy in daycare. Realizing that he was going to spend all those hours with other ‘mommies’ really upset me. But he’s been so happy there, it kind of helps. A little bit.

  4. Marcy November 16, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    The letting go… starts when they come out, doesn’t it…

  5. Katherine Stone November 16, 2007 at 10:47 am #

    Yesterday I took my son over to his first playdate at someone else’s house. I then went home and spent the next 90 minutes feeling like I could throw up. I wish I could put him back inside of my belly and carry him with me everywhere. I know exactly how you are feeling.

  6. radical mama November 16, 2007 at 11:04 am #

    Oh, yes. I totally understand what you are feeling. (But you may find some teachers with as many tattoos as you have one of these days. πŸ˜‰ They aren’t all fuddy duddies anymore!)

  7. thordora November 16, 2007 at 11:13 am #

    Yeah…you didn’t see these teachers. I was hoping for a cool one. These ones were kinda….freaky. And NOT in a good way.

  8. Jen November 16, 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    It’s sooooo hard, little ones big enough for school. My heart still tugs a little when I hear Lucy talking about gym class and homework.

    I swear Lucy’s teachers think C and I are total flakes and they haven’t even seen my tattoos πŸ˜‰

  9. thordora November 16, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    yeah, we looked like the “weirdest” parents there..and most engaged, at least in our group.

    Which translates to “talks when other are talking”

    I already know I’ll need to take the entire first week of school off.

  10. N November 17, 2007 at 6:32 pm #

    Still hard to imagine the fact that she’s already at that stage in her life. School. Holy crap.

    She’ll do fine, I think. She’s a brilliant child! πŸ™‚

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