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9.06.2007

This Post Dedicated to the Poor Lady at Starbucks Who Had the Misfortune of Asking Me How My Day Was

June 8, 2001 (Excerpted from my Pregnancy Journal)

GIRL! GIRL! GIRL! GIRL! We're having a girl! Yaaaaay!!! I met you today, little girl. We had our first ultrasound and I saw you move! I saw you kick! You're the size of an avocado and you look like a little gymnast in there! I am blessed. All I wanted was a daughter. All I wanted was you. A baby girl!

~~~
Today

I crept into your dark room early this morning and watched you sleeping. Your long lean leg thrown over the covers, your tousled blonde hair spread out on the pillow. Your collection of stuffed animals are strewn around you, a comfort you require to fall asleep.

You have your "meme" (aka - my gym shirt, which I hastily took off and thrust at you in a desperate attempt to get you to stop crying five years ago and which hasn't left your side since) snuggled up to your face. Your left hand hangs off to the side, the thumb having been abandoned in your deep sleep.

I've been pretty good about you starting Kindergarten today. I've been resolved that this is going to be the beginning of a great new adventure for both of us.

But, looking at you lying here, in all your big girl-ness... I can hardly race out of your room in time before the sobs come.

~~~
June 11, 2001

I felt you move today! There's actually a baby inside me! I woke up at 3:00 this morning and felt a flutter, like little butterflies flapping their wings. I held my stomach and waited. Ah! There it was again! You! I feel you! I lay there in the dark in amazement, willing you to move again.
This is real. A real baby. All mine.
~~~
Today

You will not take no for an answer. You are definitely wearing your white tank top underneath your monkey shirt for your first day of school. And no, you will not wear socks. They make your feet hurt and you can't run fast, you cry.

You direct me in the mirror while I put your hair into ponytails. You tell me exactly how you want each hair and, oh my God, are those yellow rubber bands (?) because you specifically said "orange".

You skip to the front door and throw your Hannah Montana backpack (which mommy found on Ebay and then won in a bidding frenzy with 16 other desperate mothers) over your shoulder.

"Come on, mom! I want to be early" you chirp and skip out to the car.

I suddenly cannot believe you're so big. When did you get so tall? Wasn't it yesterday that you were five pounds? Wasn't it yesterday that when I would hold your tiny premature baby self on my shoulder you would curl into a "C" as you were inside me?

~~~
September 8, 2001

We're going to name you Savannah. I hope you like it. I've loved that name since I was a little girl. It's hard to name you before I even meet you. I can't wait to lay eyes on you! My little princess! The thought that I'll be holding you in my arms in two short months is so overwhelming. What a miracle.

Please be safe in there. You are so precious to me.


~~~
Today

You're racing across the grass toward the school and I'm letting you.

"Come on, mom!" you call back to me.

But, wait. I want to look at you. I want to remember this moment forever. This image of you - your enthusiasm, your joy, your perfection.

We walk up to the classroom together, your hand in mine.

I have to let go of your hand today.

The hand that I created inside me.

The hand that played with my hair and stroked my face while I nursed you.

The hand that wrapped itself around my finger so tightly while you took your first tentative steps.

The hand that I taught to wave bye-bye.

The hand that is now waving bye to me.

Please be safe in there, I think. You are so precious to me.


124 comments:

Miss said...

Totally sobbing. Beautiful post Lena! Simply Beautiful.

A said...

Sniff, sniff.

I was wondering how it went. Glad to see she did great. I did the same thing that first morning - went into her room & watched her sleep. Cried, got it out, and went on with waking & getting her ready.

Savannah will do great I'm sure. Hope she had a fantastic first day!

Carrie said...

Lena - I am sitting here crying after reading this. Beautiful! I have 2 more years before I have to deal with this with my son and my heart is already nervous!!

jen from boston said...

really beautiful, Lena.

Beth said...

There you go again, making me cry! What a touching post. I hope she had a great day and I hope you survived!

Lena said...

I did! And I swear my next post will be happy! Because guess what? Kindergarten is awesome!

Miguelina. said...

Wow.

superblondgirl said...

That was so beautiful. You said it better than I ever could. I'm glad she had a good first morning.

Linsey said...

Lena, you are so great. You inspire me, really.

And don't worry, soon you will LOVE kindergarten as much as she will...

JoAnn said...

I sent my youngest off to kindergarten yesterday- and you managed to put into words what I can't- but I what I most definately feel. I can hardly see through my tears right now. What a beautiful post.

Kelley said...

I only discovered your blog a couple of days ago. Another 'perfect post', you took me back 3 years, then 8, then 10 to each of my babies first days.....
Pass me the tissues, I've, ahem, got something in my eye....

Daren said...

Beautiful. I've got three more years yet, but I know I'll do the same.

Bunny said...

Beautiful. I have two more years before this and I'm already apprehensive.

Karen said...

What a beautiful post! I've been where you are and I've felt the way you feel. My babies started 2nd and 3rd grades yesterday! I'm sure that Savannah will do wonderfully and love every minute of school! :)

Kristin said...

*sniff*

I cried myself stupid on Jake's first day of school... and on Jack's... and I am sure I will on Eva's.

Tara in VA said...

Glad to have you back. Your post was beautiful, just beautiful. I have 3 more years before I send my boy off to school for the first time, and even though he's been in daycare since my maternity leave ended, it seems like "real school" will be so different. I, too, am a bit scared of that transition.

Thank you for this gift.

Liz said...

BAH! This made me cry.

What a beautiful post, Lena.

Becky, Mom, Mommy, Hey you, said...

ahhh how sweet...

I actually almost cried when I dropped my daughter off for her first day of school.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm getting soft, because this made me cry.

I'm new here, but I see that I am the last person on earth to realize what a talented writer you are.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Wilson said...

Wow. This post made me tear up (paired with the pregnancy hormones, I'm a complete MESS. GREAT pic, BTW.

chicken said...

Beautiful post!
I cried...I cry every year on the first day of school. The time just flies by.

Rachael said...

I am so glad that I just stumbled upon your blog Lena. You are absolutely beautiful...your writing really touches me! THANK YOU for all of it!

Mel said...

I hate to tell you this, but from now on, time moves with warp speed.

Grab it while you can and hold on!

Amy said...

thanks for that beautiful post! glad to see you back

Major Bedhead said...

"The hand that played with my hair and stroked my face while I nursed you.
The hand that wrapped itself around my finger so tightly while you took your first tentative steps.
The hand that I taught to wave bye-bye."

*sniffle*
Beautiful post.

Shawna said...

Wow, that was amazing. I am so glad everything went so great...I knew it would. Keep leaving those kisses in her hand because as "chicken" said earlier, the time flies so very fast. My "baby" started high school on Tuesday and rolled his eyes when I wanted to kiss his hand. I teared up a little as I drove home, but it was a happy tear!

Fly on the Wall said...

That is just so so sweet. Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

Lena - I am at work right now and bawling like a baby. I only have 1 year to go and I don't think I can handle it, I am already nervouse and sad all at once.

Beautiful writing!


Danielle

Katie said...

Hi Lena - hope you are well! Savannah is *so* lucky to have you as a mom. Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

Proof positive that you have done your job well - a skipping, confident, eager girl on her first day of kindergarten. I hope she loves it! Pat yourself on on the back - heck, give yourself a big hug. You did it mom!
Stephanie in KC

canape said...

That was beautiful. Savannah must be rockin' kindergarten with her sockless feet and Hannah Montana backpack!

Heather said...

oooooohhhhhhhhh! That was too sweet and sad for words.

You're a genius, Lena.

Cheri said...

Aw Lena, my 5 almost 6 year old only child daughter started Kindergarten two weeks ago. Believe me I know EXACTLY how you feel. Beautifully written.

Laural Dawn said...

That was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
I hope she loves kindergarten. I've heard it's fun:)

Lena said...

*passes out Kleenex*

I hate to cry alone. :p You're welcome.

Nancy said...

This post just about killed me, Lena. Beautiful and poignant. My own Mimi started kindergarten this week too and my heart hurts.

susies said...

Oh God, I have to leave the house in a minute an now my eyes are puffy and my face is blotchy. Thanks.
Oh, and hugs.

Sarah said...

So lovely and poignant.

*sniffle*

Lindsey said...

Oh Lena that is beautiful! I am a 1st/2nd grade teacher and it's moving to hear about the first day of school from the momma's side!

Shelley said...

Beautiful! I've been lurking for a about a week and was driven to comment today. My girls (twins) will do this same thing next year. I'm already stocking up on kleenex.

Carmi said...

You've captured what it feels like to let them go. Wonderfully put.

I recall feeling similar thoughts when I walked our munchkins into the school yard last week. It gets harder every year.

I wrote about it here:
http://writteninc.blogspot.com/2007/09/in-my-big-sisters-footsteps.html

Love your blog, btw. I relate on so many levels!

Shelby Shankland said...

Oh GOOD LORD! Lol... Thanks for the cry, Lena. My baby's only 5 months old, just starting to rollover and eat solid food. I can't believe that she, too, will be walking off into a classroom one day. Ugh.

Jackie said...

My daughter started Kindergarten this year also and this post is simply perfect. Beautiful.

Melizzard said...

Great, I finally stopped crying over my girl going off to kindergarten and now I'm crying over yours. Beautiful post, you've managed to put into words exactly what it felt like.

Crystal said...

beautiful post....absolutley beautiful!

Kristen said...

Such a wonderful, beautiful post. I'm also tagging you to reveal 8 more things about you that we don't already know.....more info in my blog if you happen to have a rabid case of insomnia.

Crystal said...

Beautiful...this is one to print and save for her when she graduates and goes to college.

Oh, God. College.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Mom101 said...

You had to go and make me cry, didn't you.

Elizabeth said...

You had me sniffling at "I had to let go of your hand today"-SOB! I bet Savannah's doing great at kindergarten, and I'm sure you're doing better with having her there, right? Hang in there, Mama!

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