We arrived early for the first day of Big School last week. Melli wanted to explore the playground, so off she ran. A few minutes later she came back to where Alex and I were waiting, a tear rolling down her cheek.
I hadn't expected her to cry, that was what I was going to do on the first day of school, remember?
"What happened Melli?" I asked.
"I can't reach the very top monkey bar," she said.
"I'm too little..."
She settled in fine to her class, followed the teachers instructions on where to leave her backpack and hat and we left her happily seated at a table eagerly drawing a picture.
When it came time to pick her up she rushed out to greet me with a huge grin and began to tell me all about her first day.
"I reached the top monkey bar, Mum!" she said.
"I just asked a big kid to lift me up."
It has been a tumultuous couple of weeks for me, emotionally. Letting go, moving on, beginnings and endings all entwined. I would not be the only mother out there who has been experiencing a stirring up of emotions as they farewell their "babies" into big school...
As I watched that confident little girl above skip off into her future, I began reflecting on the last five years. I have put my career on auto-pilot in some aspects in order to be there for her - to get her to this day - a sacrifice I made willingly I might add, and one I wouldn't change. But last week, I also shed a tear or two at the personal cost of that choice. I, too, have felt vulnerable, little... wondering if I will ever reach the top monkey bar...
That little lady above is so much like me in personality. She has a fire in her, burning bright. I had almost forgotten that aspect of myself; buried it under the laundry, dishes and school runs... But last week she reminded me, and I took a leaf out of her book and asked some "big kids" to help me reach some of my dreams. The wisdom and encouragement I have received in the past week has been amazing. To those women - thank you.
And now, after all that drama and insight and letting go and tears? Well, it's simply time to get on with things and do the work that needs to be done. The work of being a mother and a writer.
Chop wood, carry water.
Chop wood, carry water
p.s Speaking of water... Come visit me over at The Hoopla today where I am writing about the floods that have swept through our beautiful North Coast. Maybe share a flood memory of your own?