Thursday, September 5, 2013

Here's To The First Days (of Many).

When I first got married, I immediately felt like I had been inducted into a super secret society of women who now had to feed and care for a husband. It was sort of like we were all in this wild thing together and together we would share with each other the highs and lows of being married. Support each other, laugh with each other and side with each other when we thought our husbands were officially crazy. Kind of like The Babysitters Club but for married women. No longer would I have to sit on the sidelines of the wives swapping stories over the coffee pot in the break room at work. Now I could offer a sympathetic nor or even chime in with my own wifely experience. It was awesome.

When I had my first baby, again, I felt like I was inducted into yet another super secret society of women, this time, the society of Mothers. Don't get me wrong, I loved being in the Married Club and sharing tips and tricks to upholding my half of a successful marriage but being in the Mothers Club was way more fun. There was baby things to be talked about, lot's of cute, sweet-smelling, pretty little baby things to be learnt and although the nitty gritty tips and tricks to baby-raising weren't neither as cute nor sweet-smelling, they were just as invaluable and fun to discuss. 

Just like the Married Club, the underlying theme of the Mothers Club is that "Yes, We're All In This Together." No matter where you are in your journey as a mother or a wife, there will always be a small part of you that can empathize with whatever a mother or wife around you is going through at the moment. Another moment of sheer awesomeness. 

If you happen to be a part of Facebook or Instagram, then I'm sure you've noticed the flood of "First Days" pictures in your feeds. From pre-school to high school, parents everywhere are photo-documenting their childrens' first days of school. Pictures of them dressed to impress on the front porch, pictures next to their first cubby or first locker, pictures on their first bus ride and pictures getting behind the wheel of their first car perhaps on their way to their last first day of high school.

Prior to becoming a mother, these pictures, although cute and sweet, meant nothing to me. I would scroll quickly through them,  glance over them, paying little to no attention to them, not thinking for a second about the nervous yet proud mother standing behind that camera. 

The mother who, although so excited for this momentous occasion, was equal parts anxious and worried for their child. Hoping against all things that they would have a great day, make new friends, feel included. That they would understand how lucky they were for this opportunity to stretch their wings and learn all there is to learn within those now unfamiliar walls.

As I sent my first-born off to his very first day of pre-K 3 earlier this week, I knew exactly how those mothers were feeling. I knew exactly the flood of emotions that came over them as their kissed their babies' heads the night before and how they may have blinked back tears in the front seat of the car as they drove their baby off to school. To where someone else would be responsible for their care, even if only for two and a half hours each day. 

How through reassuring their children of how great their first day would be, they were also reassuring themselves. They were going to be okay, too. 

Sure, there will be many more First Days ahead. First days of Kindergarten, of Middle School, of High School, even first days of First Jobs but no matter which First Day you celebrated this week, it will always be a reminder of how fleeting time is. Of how numbered your days are with your children. 

A reminder that no matter how much or how hard you love them, they are not yours and yours alone to keep forever. 

One day, when they find themselves blinking back the tears as they let go of the hand of their first baby on his first day of school, they will finally understand what it feels like to let their heart go walking around outside of their body. 

They will be able to look at that woman, waving frantically at the school bus, keeping pace with it as it rounds the corner to leave, carrying her precious cargo, and they will understand

And just like that, they'll earn another badge in that super secret society of Mothers. 

Here's to the First Days.

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  1. tears *sniff, sniff* Although I love how grown up and independent my babies are, I hate first days!! But beautifully written. You are such a great storyteller!

  2. "They will be able to look at that woman, waving frantically at the school bus, keeping pace with it as it rounds the corner to leave, carrying her precious cargo, and they will understand." Yep. That's me. The crazy girl. And you know what...I DON"T CARE! Firsts are so precious! I'm so glad Carter enjoyed his first day and that you all survived! Welcome to the Club Momma! xoxoxoxoxo

  3. For us it was the first =sobbing mess

  4. First days are so hard! My oldest started her first day of HIGH SCHOOL this year! Gag me with a spoon!!! When she starts her junior year and my older son starts his freshman year, my baby will be starting Kindergarten! It goes way too fast!!

  5. i loved this post :) I'm halfway through my first pregnancy right now, and very much looking forward to getting inducted into the Society of Motherhood! I look a little differently at those First Days pictures now, too- and I'm looking forward to posting my own!

  6. Ohhhh letting go is so very hard for mamas.... I'm pretty sure ive cried more them emmaline lately... but, it just shows you are such a good mama, when its hard to let go :)

  7. I've only commented on your blog once or twice but this post really got to me. My last baby is One on Saturday and I can't seem to shake myself out of this sad little rut about it. Because I know that all too soon I'll be sending him and his older brother off to school, to clubs, to prom, to college...and it kills me. You're line about They are not ours to keep forever..That makes me really sad.

    Good post AP

  8. OOOH Mama!! Such a good point - as mommy to 15 year old Parker I see those first day pics and 1) think that is so so far away from now, and 2) don't think about the teary mama behind the camera. It's not far away. The ticking of seasons, the putting away of the too small clothes, each milestone reached, a silent reminder that pre-K is not so very far off in our future. ...And not pictured, the mama. Who is there before me. Who is staring at her baby through the camera lens, saying something funny to make him laugh, her voice quivering as she is equal parts proud and sad. Her breath catching in her throat as she lets go of that tiny hand. The First Day. I won't see those pictures quite the same! Congrats to Carter for starting pre-K3! I can't wait to hear how much he loves it!!

  9. So precious! Love to hear your insights!

  10. This is so sweet!!! Remember the firsts and don't forget to cherish the lasts. How do our babies grow up so quickly!?!?

  11. so freaking sweet. can we find a way to slow the firsts down though?!? i feel like so many keep happening!!! and they mean our babies are getting way too big!

  12. I know exactly what you mean. I also think it's amazing how much we learn as we continue to grow into women, mothers and so forth. Sometimes I feel I understand my own mother better than ever as I let laundry sit unfinished so I can play one more game with my kids.

  13. I know exactly what you mean! I also think its amazing how much more we grow to understand in age and experience. I understand my own mom so much better now that I ave my own kids - letting laundry go unfinished so I can play just one more game.

  14. AP! You've got me crying like a baby @ work with this post!! This is so sweet and so very true!! :) I find myself more and more these days holding on to every second with the boys! I'm so glad Carter has been doing so well!!! Way to go mama!!!!


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