Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not quite the first day of school...


Add another reason to my list of "why I'm NOT the perfect Mom." I have no photos of Elizabeth's first day of kindergarten. None. We didn't even make it to school on time. She was late. Sometimes I feel like apologizing to her, "I'm SO sorry you have me for a Mom!" Despite the numerous times my own incompetence has unfolded at her expense, she adores me. She tells me I'm the best Mama in the whole world with a strong squeezey-hug. And she means it!




So back to the first day of school SNAFU. It wasn't JUST the first day of school. It was my first day at work as a personal trainer. It was Erik's first day out of the country on some big project for work. It was also the first day of Gabe's vomiting and the first day Ava had diarrhea; the first day I had sobbed in a long time.




So the crumbled up, coffee-stained paper with all the kindergarten info on it said drop off was between 11:45 and noon. After pulling up to the school at 11:45 and seeing a deserted ghost town the familiar self-doubt creeped in. I actually drove around the school a bit before parking and going in. I carried the two stinky-sick-kids and had that "I was up all night with both of them" look in my eyes. We rang the school's doorbell and they let us in. I'm certain my genuine confusion and self doubt was obvious as I said/asked, "I'm here to drop Elizabeth off for kindergarten. My understanding is that drop-off is between 11:45 and noon?" Why do I always feel more like a student and less like an adult when inside a Catholic elementary school? The office lady did not make eye contact and said "that was my understanding too but it has somehow been changed to 11:30-11:45." Mild panic mixed with extreme annoyance crept in. So it wasn't totally my fault if even the office lady thought drop off time was later. Who changed it and how did all the other moms know? Where is this kindergarten classroom? I calmed myself down for Eliza's sake and cheerfully walked her to the classroom. She was very nervous walking in and I was so sad I had messed things up for her very first day. I kissed her briefly and said "I'll see you in a little while! Have fun!" and she shot me a frantic "DON'T LEAVE ME!" look with those extremely expressive eyes of hers. I kept that lump in my throat under control as I walked out of the door and towards the exit sign. This isn't how the first day of kindergarten is supposed to go! This is not what she was expecting. I had the camera in my purse. How could I have messed it up so horribly? My thoughts were interrupted by a scratchy little voice on my shoulder "Mama, why is Eliza so scared?" Even Ava could see how the rushed good-bye threw our sensitive Eliza for a loop. "Sometimes it's hard to begin something new." And my thoughts went back to when Eliza made me a new Mom. When I was scared I wasn't good enough to be somebody's Mom. Then I remembered how it felt to hold that warm baby girl for the first time. When she was finally placed in my arms her crying stopped and she nestled in and began to nurse. I cried because she was so perfect, I loved her beyond my hearts capacity, and I finally trusted God's confidence in me. I may not be perfect, but I am hers and she loves me.
But again (and again, and again, and again!)...I am SO, SO sorry I made you late for your very first day!!! UGH!!!

3 comments:

Marie said...

I always feel the same way. I'm always thinking "gee...I could have handled that better." She looks adorable in her little uniform. Hugs and kisses to all!

patjrsmom said...

What a sweet picture. It doesn't matter if it's your first or seventh, you will inevitably drop the ball somewhere (and where better than in a Catholic grade school ;-)? ) but your kids won't remember those moments as much as they will remember the ones you got right!

God Bless,
Jane

JavaMama said...

How is it that we are the last to find out these things?? Elizabeth is spot-on. You are a fantastic mom who loves your kids unconditionally. I hope the ickies are gone and you're enjoying the new year. We love you and miss you tons!!