From the mind of mom: We’ve blinked and missed it

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 25, 2019

Fourteen days. Two weeks. Whichever way you slice it, the end of the summer is upon the children of Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and it feels as though its marching forward at record speed.

Of course, we’ve factors to thank for this rapid pace: a change in calendar and short summer. Our grown-up, fast-paced and ever-growing schedules. The camps (love them or hate them), the “vacations” (quotes for sarcasm) and the playdates. And, and, and…

And I, mom to a rising-kindergartner, am not ready.

To be certain, this will be my eldest’s third “first day of school.” She started at three with a local, halfday preschool program. From there, it was the more rigid, but still short-scheduled pre-k. We’ve worked to climb the ladder, to lay the foundations and ready her for the next step. She speaks of “big kid” school with the confidence of an experienced teen, ticking off those 16, 15, 14 days with growing expectations (dear soul).

Who knew, as I researched and as I planned for the key factors in her strong academic foundation, I’d overlook the concept that as she took that next step it’d be away from the shelter of my open arms?

So the days pass. The closets fill with uniforms, the drawers with supplies, and I force myself to turn away for need to breathe.

Will she like it? I wonder. Will she learn? Will she make friends? Will she grow?

The questions hit me with every passing reminder of that impending day, most often as the extroverted soul runs off to socialize, leaving me and her younger sister in her dust. She’s always been a foreign creature to me in that regard: exuberant and oversharing, the type they say that never meets a stranger — traits I assure you she’s inherited from her father.

She approaches no one as lesser or greater than, greeting adults and children alike with an enthusiasm that speaks her openness to camaraderie and bonding with all. She’s fearless in a way I’ve always wanted to be, turning to look at me as I stand on that abandoned step with arms outstretched and ready to catch, her eyes reading, “Mom, have you lost your ever-loving mind?”

So no matter how much I look away from the closets and the drawers, how much I ignore the scribble in my calendar about open house, no matter how often I swear it was just yesterday she was saying her first words, taking her first steps, sleeping through the night…

She’s ready. And I’m ready to ditch the anxiety to enjoy these last two weeks.

Heaven knows, I’ll blink and they’ll be gone.