Hannah has three days left at her school. The place where she has spent minimally three days a week and at most five for the past five years. Here she learned to walk, talk, read, make friends, be a friend, make a bed, lend a hand, put on a jacket, climb monkey bars, pour milk and draw a face.
Sadly, it was also where she first experienced the pain of a broken leg, and the pain of a broken friendship. Overcame a speech problem. Was told her feet smelled. Told her first lie. Had her feelings hurt. Felt different for being Jewish. Dealt with severe separation anxiety.
Three days to wrap up the end of the beginning of her little life. To soak in the moments with these first friends. First hallways. First playgrounds. Three days to give hugs to kids and teachers that have given her so much of who she is. Friends and teachers that she may not see again but who mean the world to her today.
And I only have three days. Three days with a preschooler. Three days before I have a Kindergartner. Gradeschooler. Middleschooler. Highschooler. Three days of feeling this level of comfort with a school and its philosophy. With the loving arms and minds of teachers. Three days feeling comfortable enough to cry to the director of the school feeling so lost with the phases and stages of my daughter. Three days to hang around the classroom and playground as long as I want, as if I belong. Three days not feeling like a helicopter mom or feeling like my daughter is crazy as she cries holding onto my leg not wanting me to leave. Three days feeling secure with the fact that Hannah still goes to school with her elephant and falls asleep at nap time sucking her thumb.
I’m not ready for these three days to end. I’m overflowing with emotion. Reeling from sadness. Filled with wonder.
Why do I want to hold on so badly. What is it that makes me want to stop her right HERE? Push Pause. Stay put. I complain daily that this stage is so HARD. He little words can be so vicious. And she’s certainly not sad to be moving on. Why would I want to stay here?
Because these days are in many more ways sweet. Are easy in comparison to what I’m sure is coming. Because she looks to me for the answers. She only wants me to help. There’s no bus or bigger kids in older grades to teach her what I’m not ready for her to know. Because she still wants to hold onto my leg and grab my hand when she’s nervous. She still tells me what’s in her head. What scares her. Why she’s sad.
And I don’t want only three more days of This. I’m not ready to let go of any of her.
I just hope the First Three Days of her next stage are not even harder than these Last Three.