Original Post: 8/27/08 (Jace is now in 4th grade)
I can have a hard exterior, but I have a very soft heart. When it comes to my kids, I'm one sentimental sap! I cry at all the great milestones or when they do something spectacular (or ordinary, it doesn't matter as long as they are cute!).
I cried at their births; not from the pain, but from the sounds of those first cries. I remember crying when Courtney got her first tooth. I had her in the doctor's office, and she was pulling up on me. I looked down and saw that little pearl in her mouth, felt, and indeed it was a tooth! I hugged her and started crying. She'd hit one of those baby milestones, and I was proud. When the doctor came in, I was crying. I tried to tell him through my tears I just noticed she cut her first tooth, but he looked at me like I was crazy.
First tooth. First smiles. First steps. First Haircuts. Accomplishments. Kindergarten.
Oh, boy....Kindergarten. It has torn me up every time. Trust me, I'm WICKED happy to have free child care, but once they go to Kindergarten, time flies! When I took Courtney to Kindergarten, I couldn't even tell the child good-bye because if I opened my mouth I was going to bust out bawling in her face! I was pregnant with Kyle, too, so I'm sure the hormones didn't help anything. I blubbered the whole way home. After I calmed down, Jane called me and I started blubbering all over again! I was SO proud of her, but I couldn't believe my baby was in SCHOOL.
When Kyle started school a few years later, I managed to tell him to be a good boy, tell him I loved him, tell him good-bye. But, the minute my back was turned and one foot exited the door, the tears started flowing. Again, I was dropping my baby off at school!
Yesterday I dropped Jace off at Kindergarten. Anytime Jerry has looked at me wrong and says, "Kindergarten" in the past couple of weeks, the tears would start flowing. He did it just to mess with me! I could mostly keep it together talking about it with other people, but Jerry just has that effect of me! Sunday night I looked at the school menu to see what was for lunch on the first day of school. I started crying because my baby boy was going to eat Chicken Strips on the first day of school. He loves "Nug-Nugs", so I knew he'd be happy. Thank God nobody came into the nursery and saw me crying. It would've been a little embarrassing to explain.
I managed to hug and kiss him, tell him to be good, tell him I loved him. The twins and I scooted out of there, and I thought, "Wow! I'm a big girl now! I didn't cry!" Well....WRONG! About 10 feet outside his door, the face crinkled up and the tears started flowing. The halls were crowded as parents escorted their children to class. I felt and saw some funny stares. I must've been a sight to see holding two little boys' hands, crying like a baby. Thankfully I had a napkin in my pocket to dry my tears. Like a good Girl Scout, I was prepared.
Jerry had gone to drop Gage off at middle school and was coming back to get us. The twins and I walked to the corner and waited for him. Another sight to see for him. Driving down the road, there's some crazy woman on the corner crying with two little boys by her side! I'd calmed down a little bit until I saw Jerry. He remarked something about me being a baby (jokingly), and a new set of tears found their way out!
Kindergarten is SUCH a milestone in a child's life. Once they start Kindergarten, they aren't babies anymore. They are "big kids", and time flies after that! It just wrenches my mommy heartstrings!
Jace didn't get to ride the bus yesterday, but he did this morning. He was SO happy and proud to get on that bus with Kyle! I almost started crying again. I was putting my baby in someone else's vehicle to go to school! What if he missed me? What if he got lost? What if?
People have remarked that "you've done this before" as if it gets any easier. Every one of my children is my baby and carries a huge chunk of my heart with them wherever they go. Just because I've put two kids in Kindergarten before Jace doesn't make putting Jace in Kindergarten any easier. It almost makes it harder because now I KNOW how fast time flies, each school year flies, and before I'm done blinking, he'll be in high school! This is Jace's milestone, and although the milestone is not unique, he is so it's special just the same. It touches me just the same!
So, I'm a big fat crybaby. You can write me off when the twins go to Kindergarten. Graduations. Weddings. Grandchildren. Forget it. I'll be blubbering! Hell, I'm crying now just writing about it!