Last Wednesday was Miranda’s first day of Pre-Kindergarten. My stomach was churning and it felt like pins and needles were being jabbed into the palms of my hands. I was sooo nervous! My little baby girl was beginning her school career! I just looked at her in my rearview mirror and couldn’t believe how fast the time had gone.
All the way to school, Miranda chattered on about her new friends, new classroom, and new teacher. Mrs. Anderson is a lovely Irish woman with a gentle spirit. Of course, Miranda didn’t speak to her at Meet the Teacher Night, but since then, has talked about how nice her new teacher was.
As I walked Miranda to her building, she kept on talking. The minute we actually stepped in…she froze! Miranda had a death grip on her bag of sliced apples and kept her head down. I couldn’t even get her to speak to me! I gently placed Miranda in a chair, put her backpack away, and gave her a short pep talk. Still, nothing. A quick kiss on the head, a soft “I love you”, and then I walked out. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry at all. I felt completely confident in Mrs. Anderson and knew that Miranda would be okay.
All day, I thought about how she was doing. Thankfully, Mrs. Anderson sent several e-mails throughout the day to let all the worried parents (like me) know how the day was progressing. Finally, it was time to pick her up. I waited in the car line for what seemed like hours. When Miranda was walked out, I finally broke. She looked like she had actually grown since I dropped her off!
Miranda talked about her day all the way home. I cried in between asking questions. She’s only 4…how did she get so big? Miranda is no longer a baby or a toddler. Gone are the diapers, smooshed peas, and baby gyms. Now we are in the world of backpacks, Reading Logs, and behavior charts. Before long, she’ll be off to college and starting a new life. Until then, I’m going to enjoy every moment and hope it doesn’t pass too quickly.
Life is hard. Growing up is hard. Changing is really hard. To the people closest to me, I have been painfully honest regarding the status of my marriage. My emotions have been all over the place, but my heart has been steadfast.
Through all of the junk that John and I have heaped onto each other, I can feel that we do share a deep love for one another. The one thing that keeps us focused is Miranda. She deserves to have the happiest and healthiest home possible and we have committed to take the necessary steps.
Our home has a different atmosphere now. There are more smiles, hugs, and conversation. It is not perfect, and there have been moments of relapse. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and it seems that change is impossible. But people can and do change…if the stakes are high enough. Day to day, we get up and face the difficult times with hope.
John and I are still not where we are supposed to be, but I am grateful that we are not where we were a year ago. The progress that has been made encourages us to continue fighting for happiness.
Last week, the family packed up and drove 15 hours, yes 15 hours, to Littleton, Colorado. We came to visit my sister and her family and a couple of my closest friends. John and I are the bravest parents in the world…we drove 15 hours with a 4 and a half year old! This could have been a complete disaster, but let me tell you, Miranda did awesome on the drive. She slept a big portion of the time, and the rest of it, she played or watched movies.
We stayed with my sister Shanna, her husband Nathan, and her two girls, Tiffany, 16, and Emily, almost 12. I appreciate all of them for opening up their home to us and for being completely hospitable. I am so impressed with the girls and how they have grown! I loved listening to Tiffany talk. She is so mature and insightful. Emily was awesome with Miranda. She would play and color and let Miranda boss her around. I can’t wait to see what kind of adults they will become!
I also spent some time with my long-time friends, Kim and Sam. I enjoyed watching all of our kids have fun together at Monkey Business. Kim’s little boy, Henry and Miranda are only children and neither of them have friends their age in the neighborhood, so it was so nice to see them playing together and keeping each other company. I think that Kim and I spend quite a bit of our time entertaining our kids, so we appreciated the break. Kim and I also spent a lovely afternoon completely kid-less!
I had a great time visiting with family and friends, but it was also bittersweet. I realized that I don’t spend enough time connecting with all of these ladies in Colorado. Yes, I see pictures and FaceBook status updates, but it’s just not the same. Relationships are extremely important in our lives and I want to make sure that I don’t let the physical distance between all of us become an excuse not to pursue a connection.