Each of my kiddos are dear to me. They’re each so special and unique, and let’s be honest – adorable and hilarious. My heart could not be whole with out all three of them.
Miss H going off to school has been a weird, bittersweet experience for me.
On the one hand: I miss her terribly. I really don’t want to be without her for 6 hours out of each day. Even on our most challenging days, I like her. And I like being with her.
I enjoy sharing all of her moments with her. The smiles, the tears, the jokes, the sass, the songs, the drama. All of it. I want to witness and elate and sigh with her through it all.
On the other hand: I am so happy for her. Y’all, this girl is loving school. It’s those mixed feelings of being so happy she’s happy, and a wee bit sad she’s happy there. Because she’s thriving somewhere without me. And I’m a little bit selfish. I can admit that.
I’m so thrilled that I have, thus far, successfully raised a very self-reliant, independent, kind, charismatic, thoughtful, empathetic, exuberant little girl who loves being at school. Who smiles and waves and says, “Okay, Mom, seriously, you can go now!” I know she feels so confident and secure in herself, and in our relationship, that she knows she’s so safe and loved, even when I’m not right there.
But damn. I should have thought this through before helping her to be this kid.
But she’s still just a little girl.
Each night when I tuck my kids into bed I ask them three questions: What was the best part of your day? What was the most challenging part of your day? When were you a helper?
And the two days that H has spent without me at school (the second day was a field trip and the boys and I all went), she has answered the second question with, “The most challenging is definitely being away from you all day!”
So at least I know she does miss me. Just not enough to want to stay home. I’ll take it.
A few days before she started school, we had a loud, intense thunder storm. She was out of bed several times before J and I went to bed. I had several things I really needed to do, or maybe I just wanted a few quiet moments to recharge, I can’t remember that part too vividly with my terribly sleep-deprived brain, but I grabbed a little white box I’d been saving for her first day of school, grabbed her hand, and took her back to bed.
“This is something special,” I told her. “So special. And it’s just for you and me.”
Her eyes lit up; when you’ve got siblings, something special just for you is just that much more special.
I let her open the box and she took out two silver necklaces that I’d gotten from A Gift From Atlanta Lane.
One for her and one for me.
On her necklace was a single, tiny heart.
On my necklace was a small rectangle with a punch out of that tiny, little heart.
“You are my heart,” I told her. “No matter where you are or what you’re doing; no matter where Momma is or what Momma is doing; we are connected. There is nothing that can ever separate us. Because our hearts will always be connected. And when you wear this necklace, you will know that you are so safe, and so loved. Always. You are safe and you are loved. I am always with you, no matter what.”
(Sidenote: when she was a toddler/preschooler and would get upset or have screaming fits, I’d wrap her in my arms and repeat the mantra “You are safe and you are loved” a million times while rocking her until she was calm.)
Miss H beamed and let me help her put her necklace on. Then I put my own on.
“My heart fits right there,” she said, matching her pendant over mine.
“Because you’re a part of me,” I told her.
She laid back in bed, smiling, and said, “I am safe and I am loved. You can go back downstairs now, Mommy.”
Oh, this girl. She can drive me to the end of a cliff some days, and right when I think I will fling myself off, she lassos me back in with all that she is. I adore her.
So now my baby girl is off to school each day, wearing a beautiful little pendant heart: a reminder that we are entwined with one another no matter what or where. And we are both so safe and loved because we’ve got each other.
***I received our necklaces from A Gift From Atlanta Lane. They are beautiful, great quality, and Miss H and I both are really loving them. If you’re in the market for a mother/daughter necklace or any other custom handstamped jewelry, key chains, etc., I cannot recommend Ruchelle from A Gift From Atlanta Lane enough. Go check her out!