It’s 2:33 am and I can’t sleep. In just a few short hours I will witness the celebration of my youngest daughter’s achievement. Her Kindergarten graduation.
She has come so far in just nine months. She has learned the sounds of all her alphabet, can count to 100, can write her first and last name, spell out several words by herself, read simple books, and learned addition and subtraction. Her vocabulary and inquisitive mind is beyond maturity.
Physically, she is taller, fuller, and doesn’t look like a child, but rather a bright-eyed and smiley little girl. I’m so proud and happy for her, but I also feel a sense of grief. She is my last child to go through Kindergarten. I don’t have any more children. So, her graduation is bittersweet. I feel like an empty-nester, even though I have another eighteen years or so of schooling to go through for both girls.
I’m reminded of a scene from my novel, Love’s Perfect Surrender. The mother, Antoinette Libero takes her daughter, Isabella, to preschool. Antoinette has spent weeks preparing her child for the big day, worrying whether Isabella will cry or cling to her. Instead, as soon as the bell rings, her little girl happily wanders into the school without a tear shed.
When Antoinette returns home, she collapses and cries her eyes out—unable to contain her emotional roller coaster inside her heart. Preschool is her child’s first step into the big “bad” world, and Antoinette knows, slowly she will lose her little girl. And that’s where I am. Teetering between elation and sadness.
It’s been a year of adjustments and growing pains for the family, but we’ve managed. I know there are many books out there to help mothers with these kinds of changes. But, the truth is, I know now I don’t have any more babies. My only two girls are walking, talking, full of attitude little people. They are growing up and I am growing older.
When the moment comes and my little child and all her twenty friends throw their graduation hats in the air at the end of this assembly, she will have shed another layer of innocence.
And that is what worries me the most.