Bittersweet Memories

June 17, 2012

Guest blogger Denielle shares some thoughts as the school year grinds to a halt.

I don’t know when it happened exactly; it must have been when I became a mom and first sent my girls off to school. That was the moment I turned into a complete sap as soon as June rolled around. The idea of saying goodbye to my daughters’ teachers would instantly cause my eyes to fill with hot tears that sometimes – if I thought about it too long – would start to roll slowly down my cheeks.

I’ve been fortunate that my girls have had really wonderful teachers, but given that they’ve all gone and/or are going to the same preschool, I have not yet had to really say an official goodbye to any one of them. It’s just a, ‘have a great summer; see you in the fall,’ or in some cases, ‘goodbye for now…little sister will be in your class in 2 years!!’ But no matter. I still begin to weep as I write the end of year thank you notes.

As much as I love to see my girls grow up, acquire new skills and accomplish new things, I feel a sense of loss at the baby they left behind. The irony is, when they were really little, I looked forward to each new day because it meant that I survived the last. And things really did get better with each passing dawn.

Now each new day means we’re closer to an unchartered, self-reliant future than our warm, cozy past. Sometimes when my 2 year-old wakes up at night, says she’s scared and asks me to sleep with her, I do because I’m not sure how long she will make those requests. Never mind the neck cramps and dark circles and general crabbiness I will suffer the next day!

My oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher didn’t help matters by sending home lemons the last week of school with the following note:

In case you are wondering why your daughter has a lemon in her bag today:

I said… “Saying goodbye is bittersweet, just like the lemon you are holding. You came to me not perfect, like your bumpy lemon, but I do not expect you to leave perfect either. We grew and keep growing and inside each of you is a juice that has the potential to become sweet and flowing, just like the lemon. I tried to fill you with as much juicy knowledge as I could this year. So, take this lemon and squeeze it over the summer, or just let it be… but always think of me “.

Yep. You guessed it. I lost it.

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