Our school visit was a total success - despite Ru and El's apprehension about entering the classroom to peek around. Once we were in there, they didn't want to leave! The teachers left really adorable "goody" bags with symbolic treasures on each student's coat hook. The bag had a little list of how the things inside would help the kids learn about their new classroom. So fucking cute that I will write it out for you:
Stickers- to remind you that we all stick together and help eachother
Puzzle piece- to remind you that you are needed to make our class complete
Cotton ball- to remind you that our class is full of kind words and warm feelings
Apple- to remind you that we will learn something new each day
Eraser- to remind you that we will all make mistakes and that is okay
Ugh. And to top it off, the teachers prepared a little gift for parents to take away. On the outside of the package it read:
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children: one of these is roots, the other is wings."
Our gift was a pack of tissues!
My eyes are swelling with tears as I'm writing this... it's ridiculous. My entire life I have fought the onset of corny crying, probably because I spent years watching my mother weep while watching television. I'll never forget the night she was sniffling and tissue-ing through a fucking USA Network re-run of "Quantum Leap". It made me ill. I connected this silly display of emotion with weakness - and I guess I still do. Over the course of these years my ability to fend off crying has become a natural instinct. I know just how and when to shut the door on my feelings so they don't come pouring out my eyeballs. You should have seen me on my wedding day... the tears were there, ready to pop out, but I blinked them back like a champ. Nothing to stain my cheeks. Not a drop. (Well, I guess I should mention that my loner moments in front of a quality episode of Gray's Anatomy have not been tear-free... but NOBODY get's to watch Gray's with me. Not even Myles.)
To continue the saga, my therapist back in Burlington asked me why I wouldn't cry. I couldn't spell it out for her exactly. I still can't. It has something to do with other people seeing me in what I perceive to be a "weak" state. But recognizing how choked up I am about Ruby and Eloise setting forth into the world of learning allows me to address my emotional masquerade. What a blessing my kids are - a breath of fresh air, that crisp chilly air, like when you leave the windows open on a too-cold night. (did I just use the word BLESSING? gross.) I can confront these very real, very sentimental sensations because the girls are in my life, and it feels good, but there is some residual pain associated with that goodness. Am I making sense?
Have you ever seen a group of kindergarteners sing holiday songs at a school recital? Those were always tough moments for me and the eyeballs! Those tiny little bodies all dressed up and organized in a line - innocently shouting out words far beyond their comprehension to a toasty room packed with devoted parents. Quality Lump-in-the-throat material. What's going to happen when those kid are El and Ru? Will I open the floodgates?
Well, let's just take it one step at a time. For now, I promise to check back after tomorrow's school "day" without mommy. And I'll be honest about me and the tissues in the car after dropping them off - if I really can loosen up and let those salty wet ones go.