There is nothing in the world more conflicting than being a parent.
Last week marked Isaiah’s first day of pre-school. In the days/weeks leading up to it, I did my best to prepare. Both him AND me.
We talked a lot about what his new class would be like: about how to make friends, how to use nice words, how to share, and other important lessons that often tend to get overlooked…like how to speak up for yourself. And how to know that you matter in a sea full of other children.
I organized lunch totes and Isaiah picked out his very own backpack, which he earned from his sticker chart earlier that week.
The night before, I laid out his nap mat, lunchbox and backpack. We read “The Night Before Pre-School” and I answered his questions to the best of my ability.
We were ready.
And the next morning we were off.
I watched him walk (no, run) into his classroom, and my eyes filled with tears.
He was GONE. Today it was pre-school, but tomorrow it’ll be college…
I dried it up long enough to make it through the first-time parent orientation, then I headed to the car.
And as soon as I left the building, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I could literally feel it bubbling up from the inside…
But it wasn’t sadness.
It was joy. PURE JOY. Elation really.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d miss him. But I suddenly realized…
No temper tantrums or time-outs.
No teaching moments. For once, someone else was in charge of the teaching moments!
THIS WAS HUGE.
I was FREE!!!!!!
And what the heck? Two minutes earlier I was in tears watching him leave. I actually felt my heart leap out of my chest watching him walk into his classroom.
Now? I was practically dancing in the parking lot. I could do whatever I wanted!
TARGET NEVER SAW ME COMING.
I’ll say it again. There is nothing more conflicting than being a parent.
Think about it…
From the second you find out you’re pregnant, you’re all “This is amazing! HOLY CRAP I’M SCARED.”
When you take your newborn home for the first time, you’re on cloud nine. And then you’re all “WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?!”
Take every baby milestone. You’re thrilled when they start walking, but you instantly miss that adorably clumsy crawl–all in the same millisecond.
And don’t even get me started talking about my boys growing up on me. I can instantaneously cry tears of joy AND heartbreak picturing my babies getting married someday.
The more I think about it, the more I think that there must be something to those intensely opposing emotions. The highs and lows. The internal conflict.
The roller coaster.
I’m not sure what it is, but I know I’ll find out.
For a while I thought I was crazy. Then I realized…I’m just a Mom.
It’s my existence to ride this roller coaster. The ups, the downs. The twists and turns.
And I may throw up, scream out loud, or laugh hysterically all on the same trip.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Because the girl who got on this ride won’t be the same girl getting off. She’ll be changed, for the better.
And if you ask me, THAT’S a ride worth taking.
Happy first week of school, Isaiah. We’re so very proud of you.