First day for her will be lasting memory for me

By Meagan Lowry

It’s back-to-school time in Central Arkansas, and for the first time, I find myself gearing up to send a child off to school with the rest of you. My daughter, Lennox, will be entering kindergarten, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t all in my feels about it. First off, she was born, like, yesterday … OK, so that may be a stretch, but it certainly feels that way. And secondly, I could have sworn the people who told me, “The days are long, but the years are short,” were full of it when I was knee deep in poopy diapers and spit up. But here we are, and they were right. My days of undivided Lennox time are soon to be behind me, and I’ll find myself sharing her with someone else for eight hours of her day.

If you’re anything like me, then I imagine that you’ve had to give yourself a pep talk or two as you’ve raised your children. I also imagine that our kids are far more ready to soar away from us than we are actually ready for it to happen. I’ve been told that is the ultimate goal of parenting: to ensure your children can function without you. I’ve planted my flag firmly on the river of DENIAL though, and I like to believe that this little human who has needed me for Every, Single, Thing her entire life will continue to need me until the day I die.

I know that’s not realistic, but you try talking down a mom who is about to send her daughter out into the world and try to convince her otherwise. It’s hard. I am her protector. But school is a different ball game. She will learn to thrive, pick herself up, handle rejection, and so many other things on her own once she starts school. And for a mama who likes to show her the best the world has to offer, that has been the toughest pill to swallow. I think we all feel that way to a certain extent. We don’t want to see our kids struggle. We don’t want to see them hurt. But it’s the culmination of the entire school experience that will help shape our kiddos into who they are meant to be.

Looking back, I can remember such sweet memories of school. Of course, I want that for Lennox. I want her to learn and grow and need me less and less (this one maybe not as much).

But mamas with kids entering school this year too, this last part is for you: If you wanna cry, cry. If you wanna do a happy dance as you send those babies out of the house, do that happy dance. However you handle sending them off into the unknown is OK! Just as long as we are sending them with a little good sense and the love they need. One day, we’ll look back and think how silly it was that we were so upset to send them off, but until then, know I’m holding your hand and walking this season with you.