Last week I sent my eldest baby off to Kindergarten.
And I cried. I did. I cried.
In the months leading up to this big day, I told myself I wasn’t going to be sad. I said he was ready and I was ready. He was excited and I was excited.
But in the days leading up to this big day, I found myself welling up all over the place just thinking about it. I cried real tears at the thought of him getting on the bus and walking into school. I browsed through old pictures and tried to squeeze in good quality time. I found myself hugging him more, being more tender and spending a few extra moments putting him to bed. I sighed about missed opportunities and wished I’d taken more trips to the museum, made more pancake breakfasts and packed more picnics. And I just kept choking up left and right.
I couldn’t really figure out where the tears were coming from because my heart was filled with hope and happiness for him and for me. I was excited and I was proud that we had made it.
So why was I so sad?
Was I sad because I was supposed to be sad?
Was I sad because everyone around me was sad?
Was I sad because I secretly wished he could stay a baby forever?
And the sadness was a visceral, deep down kind of emotion. It was one of those true and real and heavy tugs on my heartstrings.
Where were the tears coming from when I knew, I really knew, that there should be nothing but joy for him, for us, for this day?
So I sat on it. I thought on it. I cried on it.
And I finally realized that my tears were happy tears. My sadness was a happy kind of sad. A sad kind of happy.
I was wholeheartedly and undeniably…sappy.
Because I watched him take a step.
It was a little step in the scheme of all steps, but it was a big step in the scheme of all steps so far.
It was a step for him into a bigger and broader universe that extends beyond me, beyond his family and beyond his home. It marked the beginning of a lifetime of opportunities to make choices and to make mistakes. It was his very first step on his very own journey to find his very own way.
But it was a step for me too. In loosening the reigns and relinquishing control. In both letting out a little slack and letting someone else pick up the slack for a change. It was a step in embracing the unknown and placing a little trust into blind trust.
Though it was a little step, it was kind of a big deal.
And those sappy tears were well earned and justified. If I had to do it all over again, I’d cry all over again. And when the next little big step comes, I will cry some more.
Because he is kind of a big deal to me.
And all of those little big steps, they are a part of my journey too. We’re both finding our own ways. One little big step at a time.