The Friday Five!

1. You guys: as I write this, my kid is in KINDERGARTEN. I know, I know. She was just born about five seconds ago. I feel the same way. I also feel ENTIRELY emotional, evidenced by the fact I outright sobbed as I walked away from her classroom this morning. I was a blubbering MESS, getting wholly unhinged, and who knows what would have happened if one of my best friends in the world, who also has a kid at the school, did not decide to wait around in the lobby for me in case she was needed. I basically collapsed onto her (we’ve known each other since seventh grade, so it’s totally not the first time) and she patted my shoulder and reassured me that everything would be all right, just as I had done to my daughter only moments earlier. I was expecting it to be difficult, even sad. I did NOT think it would feel like someone had literally reached into my chest and ripped out my heart. It just felt SO WRONG to leave here there, so little, alone all day. But I did. Because I know the best way out is always through, and that she will be okay and so will I. (She’ll probably get there first, though: just a prediction.) I loved school as a kid, and I really think she will too. But the house feels pretty empty right now, even with two squabbling, barking dogs. I miss her. Okay, and now I’m crying again.

2. In happier news, this weekend we have the big Sixth Year Birthday Party. Woot! After doing her party off-site at a tumbling place last year and getting all stressed about having to keep on a schedule (we had people booked both before and after us) we have returned back to doing things here at the house. A bouncy castle will be here, providing, well, bouncing, along with the kids of some of our dearest friends and a lot of family. We have a pinata stuffed with toys, plenty of Goldfish crackers and lots of ice cream to go with the cake my mother-in-law is making. They actually had a BOGO deal on Neopolitan, so we’ll have TWO containers with either just strawberry or vanilla left in them (everyone always finishes off the chocolate, no?). I don’t know WHY life decides to throw so many big events at you at once sometimes, maybe just to see what you’re made of. Whatever it is, I am thinking I will find out between today and tomorrow. Really, though, I just want my kid to have fun and all the adults to behave. That’s not too much to ask, right? Oh, well, I’m asking anyway.

3. In an update on an earlier post, get this: the yoga studio I go to has instituted a “take your shoes with you into class” policy, only a week or so after I walked off with another woman’s Havaiana flipflops. Coincidence? I think not. It used to be, everyone left their shoes outside the studio door, but now you can stuff them in your bag and bring them with you. It’s a weird thing to be pretty sure that you, yes YOU (to quote Megan McCafferty) caused an actual change in the RULES. I don’t know whether to be proud or even more embarrassed. Maybe a little bit of both? I want to cause change in the world, don’t get me wrong. This just wasn’t EXACTLY the kind I had in mind.

4. The other day, with my kid’s birthday looming, I made a rookie mistake: I went onto Pinterest and searched KIDS BIRTHDAY. Man. If you ever want to feel that whatever you are doing, no matter what it is, is inadequate, look no further. Here I was proud I had pulled together a pinata and favor bags, but did I have the bags stamped with guests’ names? Did I go all out with a Princess-themed table setting, or even HIRE a person to BE Sleeping Beauty for two hours? Nope again. I should know by looking at clothes and hairstyles I will NEVER be able to pull off that Pinterest is a slippery slope for me. Then again, she’s just excited there’s going to be pizza. (She is my child, after all.) I think sometimes that all this perfection party stuff isn’t for the kids anyway as much as the parents. I’ve never hit perfect at any OTHER aspect of my life, so why should it bother me this isn’t happening either? To be on the safe side, though, I’ll just stay off Pinterest until after the weekend. That’s what Tumblr is for! (Plug alert: if you want to follow me on any of these sites, you can find links over at Sarah-Land. Although there will not be much on Pinterest anytime soon.)

5. It’s now 1:26pm. School lets out in JUST over an hour, and my kid’s first day will be done. I just got a text from a friend who was having lunch at school with her second grader and saw my kid in the cafeteria. Apparently, she was sitting with the teacher, and “Looked okay, kind of quiet.” And just like that, my ulcer—or the pain in my stomach that I am convinced is an ulcer—kicked in. I am not a person who can take just a bit of information as it is. I have to RUN with it, pell-mell, into horrible scenarios. Was my kid the ONLY one sitting with the teacher? Is she okay? Does “quiet” mean sad or TRAUMATIZED? *breathes into paper bag*

Okay, okay. Just took two big yoga breaths, in-out, in——out. Even if she WAS sitting with the teacher, alone, that’s not the end of the world. We’re not all extroverts. And this is LIFE, sometimes things are hard and scary, especially the first time you do them. I am not going to be able to protect her in a big bubble forever (although I wish SO FREAKING MUCH that I could.) That would be doing her no favors. This is what parenting is. It’s the same as watching her learn to walk and letting her fall down so she could learn how to get up, all on her own. I’m doing my job. Breathing into a bag at the same time, but doing it. But man, work is HARD today. That’s life, too.

Have a good day everyone!

Update: Like I’d really keep you hanging like that? Please. Okay, it’s now after three and she’s home. She came running up to me grinning, said she had a good day and the form teacher sent home confirms it. (Literally: you can have a good day, an okay day, or a day that needs improvement next time. I might institute a similiar form for assessments of my own day.) Recess was her favorite part. She missed the dogs but is excited to go back. AAAAAND I exhale a breath I apparently have been holding since this morning. Thank you, Universe. I appreciate it.