Monday, I was called to school unexpectedly. I love it when the teacher starts by saying, "She's fine." Because we know there's a "but X happened" coming when they begin that way, don't we?
I haven't received a call since Kindergarten. And while I'm not going to give the basis behind the call (I really DO have boundaries with this blog - swear!), I CAN talk about the emotions it brought out of me.
I expected her to be in a full meltdown. I expected a litany of "I'm so stupids." I expected to need to talk to the teacher about how to transition her back into class without major drama after we took care of our business. I expected her to scream "LEAVE ME ALONE" at her sister who was VERY concerned about why we were going to school and wanting to give her a "feel better" hug. So empathetic, that one.
What I got was a calm, collected, composed child who, truthfully? I didn't really know how to handle. I'd been bracing myself for every other time I'd ever had to come to school in years past and was completely blindsided by this kid I discovered.
Wonderfully blindsided. Drop me to my knees and make me want to sob blindsided. With relief that she self-regulated? Disappointment that she didn't need me to kiss away her hurt? Heartbreak over my baby growing up?
Probably all of the above. I know I say it a lot, but the day to day minutiae - so hard. So UGH. The major milestones of independence, though - heartwrenching to Moms everywhere, I bet.
This particular one, though, it's stuck with me. Because of the last 30 seconds of our visit. My newly composed Big Girl kept it together until we finished our business. Then I said "I'm proud of you - how about a hug before you go back?" She replied, "Sure Mommy. Can you give Lilly (our puppy) a hug for me too?" And THAT'S when she started crying. That's when my Little Girl peaked back through the Big Girl we found when we arrived.
Oldest and I, we've been through so much in these 7 short years of her life. So many times I am so exasperated with her I could just scream. And I sometimes do. But Monday, I wished for a moment or two that she still needed me as much as she used to.
Being needed feels pretty good, you know. Sometimes it's hard to remember that the whole point of raising your kids right is to achieve moments like these.
Moments where they take another step away from you - toward independence.