I had an urge to write something that I didn’t know I was going to write. I didn’t plan on writing it, but I now feel like I have to. Okay, that sounds much more dramatic than planned. Sorry, but I just attended my firstborn’s nursery graduation. Her graduation. GRA -DUA-TION. Hey, it’s a big deal.
Graduating when you are still pretty much a ‘big girl toddler’ is a bittersweet thing for mamas. It’s a big change for both of us. There won’t be as much hand holding next year. I looked at my girl and could still see her as the baby I was changing poopy diapers of. It got surreal. From here on, she’ll be in a big school and that’s a big deal. There will be new mommies in a new place with new food and we will both have to make new friends.
So the graduation was hard. It was intense. Do schools do this on purpose to bring out the breakdowns in mamas? They build up an event where you cannot help but cry because your baby suddenly looks like an almost tween and that tends to freak out a mama.
I—like others around me—shed a tear. Except, okay, I sobbed. An ugly cry sort of sob. I couldn’t control or keep it in and a part of me didn’t really want to. I suddenly sped back in time to the day she was born by C-section and felt that tug of her being pulled out and plopped on my chest—total overwhelm and more than a bit emotional. Plus, so much self-induced pressure and anxiety hit me—to be the mom I figured she hopes I am. And the one I hope to be.
For the past 3.5 years she was perfecting her walk (a bit of swag) and talk (a bit of ’tude).
When we all made it home and I tucked her into bed, here’s what I wanted to tell her (and myself):
1. Life is a Ferris wheel, a circle, a whatever cliché you want to say, but honestly, more than anything it is bittersweet. The bitter stuff will pass so try and make the sweet bits stick like that glitter glue you love.
2. Do your best. Always. In every situation. Every day. You don’t want to look back and think I wish I tried harder. But also know that your best is always great and good enough so don’t worry about your best either!
3. If you’re not sure, ask an adult. One you know. Not strangers. Take their advice and mix it with what your gut is telling you.
4. If you’re scared, pause, and ask yourself why. Then put on a brave smile and refer to #2 and #3 if need be. Or cover yourself in that glitter glue from #1 and do a tap dance.
5. Oh, and stop picking your nose. You’re on your own for this one… you inherited daddy’s thick nasal lining and deviated septum. Please stop. It’s gross.
That’s it, baby. It was a big day for the both of us. This is the first of many, many milestones and I will be watching on and probably sobbing and definitely learning with you and making lists (definitely alone) through them all.