September 18, 2009

Today I walked my daughter to school for day five. She has progressively been more at ease every day that I drop her off. The first two days she was hesitant, but unaware that school was going to become a regular routine. It was a temporary "event" for her. But then came Wednesday - day three - the realization that, "hey...mommy's leaving me again?" and the hardest day yet for both of us. I walked her to her classroom and watched as she ignored the teacher's requests to plop her backpack down and take her shoes off. And almost choked when the teacher said (in french), "You need to speak more french at home." (My thoughts: Excuse me? I am trying to cope with the fact that you're speaking french to her 6 1/2 hours per day and you want me to take the little time I have with her, to speak more broken french than I am, at home?) I do understand that she wasn't attacking me...but I was already emotional. Then I tried helping Murielle with her things and it only made things worse. She started bawling the second I turned away from her to go home. And then I made the mistake of turning back to comfort her, only prolonging the situation. When I finally walked out of the school, I didn't dare look back because all I could hear were sobs. That entire day (which happened to be my birthday) I was on the verge of tears. (*Let me just clarify...I knew sending Murielle to school would be hard, but I didn't expect to feel this way)

So then Thursday came and it was great. She was happy at the start of the day and we talked all morning about school. We prayed together and then walked into the school. I walked halfway down the hall with her and let her walk around the corner and to her class all on her own. So, in a sense, she was leaving me instead of the opposite. MUCH better. And now we're at five. We prayed together before leaving the house and then walked to school. We just barely stepped inside the door and she looked up at me and said, "Bye, mom." Let me tell you, hearing those words was bitter sweet. I don't know which is worse, seeing your kid bawl at the very thought of them being without you ALL day...or seeing them fine with the idea, and coping rather well...without mommy.

And so, as I walked out of the school and down the sidewalk, I felt those familiar tears filling up my eyes yet again (don't judge). Except now the truth was coming out and I realized that maybe...just maybe, I'm the one having a hard time letting her leave me.
Of course I will always pay attention to how my child feels and never shrug off that intuition God has blessed this mother with...but perhaps this will actually be a good experience for Murielle. *gasp* Is it possible that my slightly shy girl will grow in her confidence through this experience? And could it be that by her learning the french language she will have a whole world of opportunities at her finger-tips once she's ready to really spread her wings?

So, I will continue, for another few weeks, to be the mom who peeks around the corner just to make sure the little one gets into her class ok. And I will always be the mom who over-questions the teacher(s) and keeps a close eye on everything. But I think I can probably let go, just a little, and realize that my girl must grow up eventually.

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