I have been feeling the ticking of a clock. No, not that kind of clock; you bite your tongue. This shop is CLOSED. I’m talking about the passage of time, a season that has run its course, the end of one phase of life which can only lead to the beginning of the next, and for good or bad all the anticipation that comes with it. Things are about to change.
Sofia starts kindergarten in two weeks. She will be leaving the learning center where she has spent Monday through Friday of almost the entirety of her life and moving on. She is excited about the change, because we have played it up as nothing short of awesome, but I know she is a little sad to be leaving her friends. I try not to show it, but I am a little sad for her as well. It is hard to walk away from all that you know.
I think it’s different for the working mother. I don’t feel the mourning or emptiness that a lot of stay at home moms experience. It doesn’t feel as though she is leaving me. The amount of time we spend together on a daily basis will not differ. Instead it means getting up a hell of a lot earlier and carting two kids off in separate directions on a daily basis. It’s all about logistics. I know we will work out a schedule, but it is going to be very hard for a few years until the little guy is old enough to join her.
That is the stress of the change, but when I sit down and really think about what it all means, this change does affect me in emotional ways. As I focus on her days ahead and all that I must to do get her ready, I am suddenly struck by how tall she looks.
I felt that most when holding up her fall uniform and marveling that her legs could not possibly be that long. Yet they are. Then over the weekend I was watching her run across the beach and I swear I saw glimpses of a young woman’s gait. Oh, how she has grown.
On the average day she may have magic marker on her cheeks and a milk mustache over her lips, but behind those glasses are large, inquisitive brown eyes that have become wiser and more challenging by the day. Questions have become more complex, and more often than not I find myself without answers.
No, our time together is not changing, but she is. I feel how she is just beginning to slip through my fingers. For now, at least, she is still holding on.