I quit working one week before Zoey was born. Technically, the day before her due date was my last day. However, she decided she wanted to show up fashionably late...five days later, she was born. Ever since we brought her home from the hospital, I have stayed with her. Of course she had her times for playdates, sleepovers, and a special trip with Daddy, but for the most part we spent our days together. For the last five years, my days have revolved around my daughter and how we can get the most out of our day together.
When she was still an infant, I would just spend time holding her. As she grew and became more and more independent our lives shifted, but only slightly. Our days were still spent together. Whether we were at the library or the park, whether we met others there or just spent the time as just the two of us, we spent our days together. Whether we were learning letters and numbers, shapes and colors or how to cook or bake, we spent our days together.
Today is different. Today we won't be spending the day together. Today is Zoey's first day of school!
Zoey has been looking forward to school for two years now. She wanted to go to preschool last year, however, it was not meant to be. So she waited, relatively patiently, until this year. She has been looking forward to making new friends, playing and learning. I was so excited for her with the time had finally come.
During the last year, we have moved across the country far away from our previous friends and family. We also moved away from the school she thought she was going to go too. We did all the pre-registration, having no idea at the time we would move, and she was ready to go. When we landed in our new city, she was unsure of her new school. We went to visit it, she was so excited to know what it looked like. We met her teacher, a wonderful lady who Zoey is already getting along with even before the first day. She made a friend, it was at the open house and she isn't even in her class, but it made all the difference. I am glad she was excited about her new school.
We live in Seattle, WA, now and are taking full advantage of the public transportation. Zoey speaks up one day saying, "I want to ride the bus all by myself." I said that it just so happens she will ride the bus all by herself when she goes to school. She loved this idea. She was ready to go.
There were moments of nervousness, I could tell because she asked a hundred questions. But her excitement won out. I am thankful for that. I love that she isn't afraid of new things and embraces her independence.
This morning she was ready to go when the bus got here. She wasn't nervous or shy...she was ready. When the bus pulled up (and we made sure it was going to the right place) she took my hand and climbed on. She let go without a second glance. With a smile she was off on her adventure. As the bus pulled away her eyes were wild with wonder. She got to ride the bus all by herself.
I think she will love school. She gets to go on the playground first thing. She has no trouble making friends and getting along with kids. She is a sponge when it comes to learning. The school has a wonderful atmosphere with people who really care about the kids. I hope she has a magnificent day.
Today is a day like no other. Today is the beginning of a whole new chapter in our lives. Zoey is in school now. I no longer have my shadow. She has come into her own self and it now lighting up the world around her all on her own. I am so proud of her.
I sit now on my computer writing and thinking. I'm trying not to wonder to much if she is having a good time. If she has found her friend again. If she is obeying her teacher. If she will remember where her snack is. I won't be there to tell her, she'll have to figure it out on her own. And I know she will. I know there will be others there to help her, just as she helps her friends. These thoughts fill my heart to overflowing. I know she knows what to do and that she will do it.
I sit here with a million things on my mind to do. I've been waiting for her to go to school so I could get several things accomplished without interruption. Keeping this blog updated is one of them. But I sit here, sipping coffee and listening to music, and don't really know what to do first. I am full of emotion - happy emotions. I am so proud of Zoey for becoming her own person. Now it is time for me to define myself in a new way as well.
I've been a stay-at-home mom for five years now. That feels like a lifetime (a least of my daughter's life) I would not trade it for the world. However, it is time for a new identity. I don't know what that looks like yet. But I can't wait to find out. Today it starts with a real heart to heart with myself. I begins with a blank page quickly being filled with words. It begins with allowing myself to change. It means taking chances and becoming myself all over again in a whole new way. We redefine ourselves many times in our lives. There is beauty in change and life in discovery. I can't wait to ride the waves of this journey and find out, once again, who I am.
I am constructing my resume to hopefully obtain a job in the near future. I yearn to have time to keep up with this blog and a couple other journal projects I have begun. I am excited to be able to sort through pictures and put the final touches on our house. I can't wait to have time to write again and to paint. I want to do so many things. I am excited about my new journey, just as I am excited about Zoey's.
Time is just an illusion. It marks the passage of days and lives. Big changes like this day, this moment in our lives where our daily lives change so completely, that lets me remember just how important every moment is. So today, I am happy to sit at my computer while Zoey goes and has a grand adventure. I will eat lunch with my husband. I will wash dishes and laundry. And I will be waiting when Zoey gets off the bus, ready to give her my undivided attention (something that has been hard to do lately with so many things to do on my mind) wanting to know all about her day.
We have been side by side for five years. However, it is those times that you are apart that make you appreciate being together. I am excited for her adventure and for mine. And when we come back together, we will form a whole new relationship, built on the strength of our five years together. I pray that relationship becomes even stronger than the one we had when we were together all day every day. She knows her Mommy and Daddy love her and we will always be right here when she comes home.
I love you sweet girl. I hope you have a fantastic adventure at school today!