These photos from A Prayer Like Gravity stirred me nearly to tears:
I suppose there’s always been a certain amount of fear around kids at school. There’s the letting go, the separation from family and home. For me, this means a willful disentanglement of my heart from my kids’, as I drop them off at school every day. There’s no drama, no tears–it’s a wonderful school–but I do have to tamp down my mother love, or else I’d never let them go.
Author Elizabeth Stone said:
Making the decision to have a child…is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
She was right. So my little hearts leave my sight to beat and grow, and I have to remind myself it’s been eight years since we were skin to skin in the hospital at their birth. They are in their own skins now; they don’t need my mother heat like that.
They are strong. I tell myself this when they come home telling me–so nonchalantly–about lock down drills.
I don’t remember lock down drills in elementary school. I remember tornado drills, my knees pressed against the painted cement block walls of the hallway outside our classroom, my body curled like a potato bug, one in a long line of kids, our hands over the napes of our necks. I remember the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster in fifth grade; when I returned home from school my mom was crying while folding laundry in the basement.
I wonder if my kids will associate school with fear or if, instead, they’ll think of my hand taking theirs and squeezing it before they tumble out of the car each morning, looking like mini sherpas with their packs and bags. I hope that’s all the burden they’ll ever have to carry.
Thanks to A Prayer Like Gravity for these photos: