Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kindergarten graduation: the pain of letting go

Boston runners converged with Indiana runners in Burlington, Vermont for the Vermont City Marathon (and to celebrate Jessica's big birthday!).

Never seen in Indiana: a dog with dreadlocks!

The night before the marathon, we savored the sights (and the chill)!

Minutes before the race started.  

The fact that we were in tanks and not the least bit cold was my first clue it was going to be a tough marathon.  Heat and hills were a toxic mix for me.  Unfortunately, it was a slow (and miserable) race. Nevertheless, I finished.  Another marathon complete.

Days after returning home, I watched my "baby" graduate from kindergarten.  

Trying my best to celebrate my new first grader!

I completed my sixth marathon on Sunday.  It was a miserable experience that I don't plan to replicate......for months.  And at that point, I hope I remember the glorious parts of the race (I plan to discover those with time!).

But those grueling hours on my feet were nothing compared with the pain I experienced at Collin's kindergarten graduation.  It was a different sort of pain.  It wasn't the kind that makes me clutch my side, but it was the sort that makes me hold my heart.  

Collin is the baby of the family.  It's a term I will myself to never utter in his presence.  Boys don't want to be called babies.  They like to be big boys or men.  I try to remind myself of that fact.  But, he's my baby.  He's the one that I can still pick up.  The child that still wants his mother to cuddle him in a chair and read him a book.  The son that still finds enjoyment in matchbox cars and superheroes.

Yesterday was his kindergarten graduation.  I watched as he walked across the stage and received his kindergarten certificate.  He hugged his teacher, and he didn't once look into the audience to seek reassurance from his mother.  He was excited.  He was thrilled to be with his friends and eager to enter the next stage of his education as a first grader.

After the diplomas were distributed, a slideshow flashed on the screen.  The audience gazed at images of smiling children engaging in playground fun and classroom antics.  

My heart burst and the floodgates under my eyelids crashed open.  Cue the waterworks.  Enter one blubbering mess of a mother.  I was one step away from collapsing on the floor into the fetal position.  He was no longer a sweet infant I could cradle or a curious toddler cruising across the kitchen floor.  My baby is a first grader.  I blinked and six years flew by.  

By the time the program was finished, I pulled myself together and tried to convince my sons allergies got the best of me.  They are no fools.  Collin raced back to our group.  He was grinning. I tried to mimic his expression.

In the span of a week, I experienced two sort of discomfort, but kindergarten graduation was by far the most painful.  But like the marathon, with time, I'll see the glorious parts too.

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