I'll never forget taking Miles to his first big event when he was about two weeks old. I was a mess of hormones, a lactating machine filled with angst, joy, and fear all at once. In short, I was a complete mess and somehow, I was absolutely loving it.
Those first days, they all ran together and felt as if they'd last forever. Such a strange thing, being so tired that you just want your baby to hurry up and grow, and yet wanting them to be newly born and in your arms your entire life. And then you want a break so badly, you come close to asking the mailman to babysit so you can run around the block. And then you want to wake that sweet little monster up after he finally falls asleep because you suddenly miss him...yes, it's crazy-making, alright.
My mom was holding him on the day of that first big outing, which was obviously a safe way to give my arms a break. We stood and talked and then she walked away to show little teeny Miles off to someone who had never met him. Confirming my craziness, I nearly screamed for her to stop. My arms suddenly felt very long and empty, and my insides felt as if they were being pulled along the lawn with my baby boy. Since his very beginning, it was the farthest he had ever gone from me, and I didn't like it one bit. (Even though it was only about 200 feet.)
My Dad and Ryan nearly had to hold me back, they could see it in my eyes that I wanted to follow, to snatch him back and feel whole again. My Dad said, "He's okay," with a reassuring smile (or perhaps a smirk), and I said that I knew he was. It was me that wasn't okay.
It felt like that again last year when I dropped Miles off at preschool for the first time. Asher and I were pretty lonely on the car ride home. It was so terribly quiet, and I realized it would only get harder in years to come.
To cope with her job of letting go, a mother learns to fill her arms with pride in her child's new accomplishments, and happiness over new freedoms. She turns up the volume of life so the quiet isn't quite so deafening.
And still, I'm pretty sure that pull will always be there, forever.
It wasn't nearly as painful this year, dropping him off at school and then leaving him.
After all, he was very excited...
So I was happy for him.
(Yes, he dressed himself, and I thought he looked smashing.)
He was ready to clown around with pals...
And I'm proud of him because I know he makes a very good friend.
He wanted to make perfectly clear that he'd be fine, you know, since he's Spiderman...
He's growing up, and practicing his teenager face..."C'mon Mom, let's just go!"
Heaven help me.
He had a great time, wearing himself out to the extent that he asked this very good question when he got in the car after school,
"Are we still having the same day we were having when I went to school?"
"Yes, we are Sweetie, it's been a long day hasn't it?"
I wish it could last forever.
I was so moved by the comments, tweets, and facebook messages after my last post. I have to say thank you. You people were handing me cups of grace all over the place. I'm just plain humbled and so honored to know you. So thank you. Really. Thank you.