My precious daughter, Emma, my only child, started kindergarten a few days ago. The school we have chosen for her is about 25 minutes away, when traffic cooperates. She attended Preschool at the same school the past year and a half, but for the most part I drove everyday she had school and then kept myself busy for the three hours she was in school. We were fortunate to connect with another family, living less than a half mile from us, who make the same drive. We began driving together about once a week last year, in anticipation of truly carpooling this year.
After driving/riding together the first few days of school,
carpooling for real began this week.
The first day I didn't drive, I felt a little lost. I definitely missed
my daughter, but I am so sure she is in good hands, both on the drive
and with her teacher, and I know this is the very best for her. I am
never without a "to do" list and used the time productively, but I had
this unexpected feeling of breathing deeply and freely for maybe the
first time since my daughter's birth. It sounds crazy, but it is the
best description I can come up with. I worked at tasks at my own pace,
with a focus I just don't usually have when my daughter is nearby. It
seems like, most of the time, when we are together, at least half my
brain is processing where she is, what she is doing, what she might need
and working at not feeling guilty because I am doing something other
than giving her my full time and attention.
This was so different than that. It felt odd and wonderful at the same
time. It reenergized me and replenished me in ways I had not expected. I
was so excited and ready to see Emma when she got home. I had more time
and the desire to focus solely on her for a while. I feel like I was
able to be more fully present, not just with Emma, but in a variety of
situations I encountered over the next couple of days.
I wish I had learned to breathe again - more deeply, more fully - before
now, but for whatever reasons, I did not, at least not with this level
of awareness. Now that I have experienced it, I look forward to it. I
am determined to revel in it and use these times to become a better mom,
wife, sister, friend and person. Really breathing again, ahh.... Who
knows what this season may bring. Whatever it is, I feel like I will
embrace it and have the energy and the stamina to embrace it with
abandon. Oh oxygen, how I have missed you.