growinghumans


In which I act like I am the first mom to ever send her child to Kindergarten.
September 7, 2016, 1:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My Tiny Human started Kindergarten today and I need to tell you about it.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. My stomach hurt. My chest was tight. We all knew leading up to this it would be hard for me–I do big reactions to big events. Yesterday, I ran out of Klonipin. I had tried to fill the refill the day before, hoping to not hit bottom…but I got sent to the voicemail and it was one of those voicemails where you have a TIME LIMIT to leave a message and oh my god that is a person with anxiety’s worst nightmare. So, you know, I hung up and threw the cell phone into the back seat of the car and decided –in that moment–that I was going to maybe try dealing with big emotions naked, without numbing or calming. That’s all these pills do; numb and calm. I have a hard time writing after taking one. Most writers are a little disturbed in one way or another and I get it.

So last night, I let my emotions crash over me wave after wave after unrelenting wave. This morning, the emotions persisted. I almost went over the edge when we tried to leave. I left her water bottle on the counter. This was a big deal. A water bottle. Left on the counter. But I sat in my suv, turned on some music and drove my kid to freaking school. I had issues parking because DID YOU KNOW PARENTS ARE INSANE?  Like who are all these mothers? People parking on the grass? This isn’t a Dave Matthews concert, guys. This is an elementary school.

So, I parked ON THE GRASS and sat there for a moment. I can’t do this. She’s too small. She’s too small. I was too small. I’ve always been too small. When I was in elementary school, I was the youngest and incredibly small compared to the other 5 and 6 year olds in my class. I don’t ever remember being bullied because of my height. Maybe not ever. My dad always told me to use it to my advantage; use it to stand out.

“Wear it like armor”, Tyrion said.

My Tiny Human was unbuckling herself before I was ready to get out of the car. “No. Wait. Sit down”, I told her. “I want you to be a few things for me today,” and she nodded. “I want you to be kind, brave, and smart.” She nodded again. “Tell me the three things.”

Her brown eyes looked back at me; my eyes, her eyes, our eyes. “Kind, brave, and smart”. Jesus Carrie , let the girl go to school. 

But, ya’ll, you don’t understand. In that car, time was still normal, maybe even a little slowed. In that car, she wasn’t a kindergartner yet.

We, of course, got out of the car and I walked her into the building, children of all ages flitting around by themselves, even ones that looked like my Tiny Human’s age. Omg ignore it. Ignore it. We got to her classroom and she walked in ahead of me and was immediately swept away. Her backpack, her cubby, her carpool number, and finally her seat at the table. Her name everywhere I looked.

I stood behind her, awkwardly. Do I just leave? Do I wait for her to get upset? OH MY GOD LEAVE, YOU ARE SO DRAMATIC.  I walked out of the door and a PTA MOM–perhaps the queen–touched my shoulders and told me they were having a reception at the front of the school for moms to go get tea and a doughnut. I guess. “We are calling it “Tissues and Treats. If you’re having a hard time just go in there and feel free to cry.”

What. 

I used the length of the hallway to decide if I needed to be in a room where women were crying about their babies growing up. I decided probably not and went to my own private reception called “Processing My Life in My Car Alone”.  There were no doughnuts.

She’s too small, I quietly said to myself again. But no. She’s not. She’s been in a small place and now she is in a big place and she will grow in so many ways that it will blow my mind every single day and her physical size will become irrelevant.

People, or maybe just me, feel the need to contain their big emotions into small spaces. A bedroom, a car, a locked bathroom. You let loose all of your feelings because you can’t just trickle them out one at a time and they bounce around in the little fort you have created for yourself. They bounce around and you know what happens? In such a small space? They bounce right back into you.

People need big spaces to give their big emotions room to breathe, to change, to heal. I felt better realizing that I had just left my Tiny Human in her big space. She is safe.

 

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