And You Can Kiss That One Goodbye

Well, it's happened again. Another child has started Kindergarten. Yes, I'm relieved for school to start, and yes, I'll go along with the jokes about "four down, one to go," and yes, it's nice to have my house sort of back after summertime.

But you know how I really feel? Deep down? That I've lost another one.

She's only four years old. She was ours, all ours, to have, to hold, to shape. She was ours, all ours, to share with the world as we wished, or not. We decided where she went, with whom, what she saw, what she didn't see, what she heard about, what we could keep her from hearing.

That's over. We now share her with the world, and the world will now have a much bigger hand in raising her with us.

She is ready. She was born ready. I've known this about her since she was around 14 months old, and she walked into our back yard full of about 40 or so strangers who were touring our garden. She had no idea they were there, and while her older sister took one look at the crowd and made a bee line back into the safe confines of the empty house, Elizabeth took one look and saw a party starting, stretched her arms out in front of her, smiled her wide and crazy smile, and ran into the crowd. She loves the world and all of the people in it. This, of course, baffles both of her introverted-leaning, slightly-suspicious-of-humanity parents, but she will not be stopped.

I am not worried about her or how she will do. I know she will thrive. But I am already nostalgic for her baby days, for her toddler days, for her daycare and preschool days, for her days when no one spent more time with her than I did.

Was I patient enough with her? Did I read to her enough? Did I let her watch too much TV? Was I too hard on her, or not hard enough? Did I feed her well enough?  Did I feed her on my dreams, the ones she picked, the ones I'll know by?

So yes, I am muddled. And to completely indulge my muddle, I am enjoying a glass of wine and an Elizabeth Retrospective:

I just love her, and I have a hard time sharing.

* * *


Gabriele said…
Wow, how I feel for you! Thanks for sharing!!
Anonymous said…

I feel your pain/joy/loss

Viv said…
It is really hard. My oldest son remarked the other day about his 13 month old sister, "don't you wish she could stay this little and cute forever 'cuz she is so perfect now?" As I was giving my son the *right answer* to that question, I stopped and just said, "I've wished for that with all of you, it has never worked, and it has never gotten any easier to let go." I was just talking about the baby years though. It is hard to share them with the world, but, thank you for sharing her with us because she is not just a beautiful little girl, but, also such a pretty baby!
nicole said…
another one bites the dust!!! Just kidding...but this one is free right? Oh parenting is not for the faint of heart.
Kerri said…
That gave me tears. I remember the little E when she was the new baby that her brothers and sister cooed over. She is in good hands now and has those same big brothers and sister watching over her, too.
Tallulah must be enjoy being the "only" child for a few hours a day. Does she even know what to do w/o her partner in crime?

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