I feel a ramble coming on. You’ve received fair warning.
There is something about having kids that makes life crystal clear, with all of the complexities of simultaneous joy and pain. But it also blurs the lines. It leaves you raw, which allows for so much more joy to press itself up against you, soothing you and making you smile. All of you that is left so open and vulnerable to the world seems to feel more pain somehow too, though. The slightest brush of someone or something else against your raw exterior can cause a sadness that it wouldn’t have caused before. And it’s all happening at the same time. *Deep breath.*
I know I have spoken about this phenomenon before many times on the blog. It is woven into so much of my writing because it is woven into my life in a way I can’t remove and am still in awe of, even five years after starting on this path of motherhood. In years like this one, where ‘lumps’ in the road have popped up (cancer humor!) it all becomes that much more clear…and blurry. And in times like these, as kindergarten comes to a close and we prepare to move to a different state, I seriously feel like I am walking around as one, giant, fresh wound, unable to barricade myself from the intensity of these mixed emotions.
Okay, the pregnancy hormones could be playing a tiny role also.
I feel sad about leaving mommy friends and about the boys leaving friends, but I know that we will still see some. Also, we are all so excited about this new house (read: YARD) and town that it is hard to be too depressed about leaving Brooklyn, even if our Borough President tries to make us feel guilty for doing so.
But the kindergarten thing? Oy. I am struggling with this. Partly because it represents such a huge jump age-wise for Carlitos. He is going to be in a real grade next year. I know time is now going to begin passing even faster than it already has. I just know it. And I can’t handle it.
The other problem is how stinking amazing this year was for Carlitos. For all of us, really. In the insanity and confusion that was this year, Carlitos’ class was a constant. I knew he had free, hot, delicious lunch waiting for him every day, along with friends who loved him and laughed at his goofy voices and faces (unlike his mommy who told him to tone it down daily once or twice), and the single, most amazing teacher I have ever encountered. Every day, I knew I could count on her filling his brain with gobs of knowledge and an impressive skill set, showing him love and thoughtfulness, and holding him accountable. She has the magical tri-fecta down pat and frankly, it made this year pretty magical. Carlitos began this year not knowing how to read. Period. The kid did not know how to read. His mother (ahem, the co-founder of a children’s literacy program, yes) had chosen not to teach him. At the time, I felt more of an urge to hone his social skills to the best of my ability and take the boys on as many ‘field trips’ and adventures as possible while they were still home together. It was time to bond as brothers. I figured he would begin to learn in kindergarten. When the year began and I realized several other kids in his class already knew how to read, I panicked. I felt like a horrible mom who had failed her kid. But guess what? He is reading at a second or third grade level at this point. If not beyond that, when I think about the books I see him poring over half of the time. He is also counting money, writing ten page stories, ‘sciencing’ anything within sight (plus our galaxy and dinosaurs…obviously), and learning about other cultures and figuring out his own identity in ways that are so exciting. His growth this year has been in all directions, including depth. And I owe such a huge portion of that to his teacher and to the incredible experience he had with his classmates this year. I don’t know how to say good bye to all of that and to a woman who has given our family so much.
The joy is there too. I am so proud of Carlitos and happy that he made it through his first real year of school with such aplomb and strength. I am so happy that he loved it and that his first year left the positive imprint in regards to education that I had hoped it would. It makes me smile when I see him with his little school friends, bonded by their time together during such a special year. Yes, the joy is definitely there as this school year comes to a close.
Some goodbyes just really kill me. The last time I felt like this was when our nanny moved back to Mexico, which makes me realize that there is possibly a connection. I seem to feel really attached to people who play a strong role in caring for my children and aiding in their formation as healthy, smart, strong and happy little human beings. As a parent you make as many choices as possible regarding your children’s well-being and development, but sometimes you don’t have a choice as to who enters your child’s life in a position of influence. So when someone comes into your child’s life and has such a positive effect on them, when your child begins to love them, when you can tell that they begin to love your child, well…I guess it’s hard not to become attached by your gratitude. For me, at least. Apparently. I mean, as all these stupid tears and stuff seem to be saying.
So I am just doing my best to absorb the happiness and sadness simultaneously. I have come to realize I don’t have much of a choice as far as that is concerned so I may as well accept it. And figure out how to laugh while crying, I suppose. Kidding. I am already really good at that.
Let’s just hope Carlitos has someone equally as spectacular next year, who pushes him and loves him in genuine ways that will make me cry when saying goodbye to her, too. And that Xavi has that as well as he begins pre-school. (Be prepared for a tear-filled post on that day.)
Also, is it too much to ask for if I hope that we don’t move again for at least five years? I don’t think my heart – or my sanity- can take it.
In the meantime, happy graduation to all of you and yours! I hope you are getting through this season of change and goodbyes with less tears than this crazy pregnant lady! (And with more celebratory champagne! You have officially been given permission to have an extra five glasses glass on my behalf. You’re welcome. But please return the favor next Spring. I will be the life of every graduation party in 2014!)