My son, my oldest, starts kindergarten in a little less than a month. It’s happening.
His elementary school puts on a musical in the spring. At kindergarten registration, a few days before the musical, they had the opportunity to buy tickets. “Perfect,” I thought. “A great way for him to spend some time in his new school.” So we went on a date to the play. It was great.
During the last song, however, all the cast came running out and filled the aisles while they sang. And there I sat, suddenly sobbing. I was officially crying at an elementary school play that my child wasn’t even in.
Seeing my son’s awe and the students’ smiles overwhelmed me with joy. Thinking about the adventures that await him in elementary school and seeing him start to reach forward toward this new place opened the floodgates.
Life is turning to a new chapter, and it is awesome.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our perfect little bubble we live in now. I cherish each story we have read, each morning spent with his sister filling blanket forts with laughter, each music class we sang together in, each timid first step he grabbed my hand for, each night spent in his nursery rocking him.
Each of those shaped who he is and prepared him for this day, just as the success and struggles of this chapter will prepare him for the next. And as a mom, isn’t that my greatest goal? Not to nurture constant companions for myself, but to help them grow into the people they were created to be.
Last year, I went through treatment for breast cancer. I don’t know if I will be here to get to see him graduate high school or get married. (Frankly, no one has guarantees.) But I do get to see this moment.
I don’t mourn that my boy is growing up. I rejoice that he is growing up. I celebrate this milestone and that I can see him get on the bus. I’m thankful for each glimpse I get of who he is growing up to be and each milestone we share.
So when you see me blubbering as the bus pulls away that first morning, don’t worry. I’m ok. They aren’t tears of sadness; they are tears of joy and thanksgiving for everything that has led to this moment and a glimpse of what is to come.
In January 2016 at thirty years old, doctors diagnosed Marcie with invasive ductal carcinoma (breast cancer). The tumors were caught early, but Marcie underwent a bilateral mastectomy. Read her story here: My Misinformation Convinced Me that Breast Cancer Only Happens to Women Over 40.