Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why am I still crying?

Today was another milestone in the Burke household. My little man started 2nd grade and my baby girl started Kindergarten. And I…am still trying to fight back tears almost 3 hours later. It all started yesterday.
I decided to take off work because I wanted to spend the whole day with Maddie and Ty. I told them it would be “Monday Funday” (an expression coined by my amazing friend Shanta when she watched the kiddos a few times for me this summer…on Mondays) The kids were very excited and so was I. The morning started with breakfast at Tim Horton’s for donuts…which they love. Then we started our errands. We had to go and finish getting Ty’s school supplies and a few more uniform shirts. Then we headed to McDonalds. We ate inside (because for some reason they think that is such a treat!) then we headed home. I got all of their school supplies labeled and packed in their back packs. I laid out their outfits and made sure everything was in order. We played a few games…had a few tickle attacks…and made a fort. Pizza was on the menu for dinner (per their request) and so was cuddling on the couch. They had their baths then we ate and cuddled together for a long time. I didn’t want to send them to bed. I just wanted to hold them...but it was getting late so I told them they had to go to bed. They both went upstairs to wait for me to tuck them in…or I thought they both did. Maddie waited for Ty to get into his bed then she came back downstairs. I asked her what she needed and she said that she just wanted to dance with me before she went to bed…and of course I agreed. In the dimly lit living room…we danced. There was no music playing…just the sweet little sound of my baby girl humming. Our dance wasn’t choreographed and it wasn’t planned…but it was perfect. In those moments I remembered all the memories that had happened in that room. I remembered feeding Maddie in the middle of the night. I remembered how she crawled “her way” (for the longest time she crawled on her back…she still likes to do things her own way!!). I remembered the times that she fell asleep on my lap while we sat on the couch. I remembered all of the games we played…all of the books we had read…all of the times we were princesses. And I knew I would remember this moment. My baby was getting older…she was starting school. I was trying not to cry as she held my hands and spun all around the living room. She was in her pink princess nightgown with her freshly washed hair flowing behind her and her little bare feet standing on their tip-toes. She stopped dancing and told me she was ready for bed…so I picked her up and carried her to her room. I prayed with her and sang her “You are my sunshine” …like I do every night…although it seemed a little harder to get through. I told her that she was going to have an amazing first day of school and that I was SO excited for her. She just smiled and sleepily said, “I love you mommy…good night.”
I left her room and tried to busy myself with laundry and dishes. It didn’t really help because my tears just kept flowing. I called my mom to talk…well I cried…she talked…but it was nice to just hear her voice and comforting words.
The morning came too early. I actually prayed that when I woke up it could just be 2:45 PM so that I could just go and pick up the kids instead of having to drop them off…but that did not happen. I got the kiddos dressed…made breakfast…and fixed their hair (a spiky/mohawk style was requested by Ty and a pretty ponytail for Maddie) then it was off to school. The kids were being goofy and talking the entire car ride which was very helpful for their “on the verge of tears” mommy!! We got to school and took pictures and started the dreaded walk towards the school. We dropped off Ty first. He was SO excited. I got all of his supplies out of his bag and helped him put them in his desk. I gave him a kiss as his friends started to crowd him…they were all very happy to see him. I gave him one last hug and headed for the door. Still no tears…I was doing well. Then I looked at Dustin and Maddie waiting in the hall for me…I could feel the tears creeping. She grabbed my hand and we headed down the stairs to her classroom. Her teacher was there and greeted us all with a huge smile (she was Ty’s Kindergarten teacher and we absolutely love her!!) I tried to say “hello” as I looked down into Maddie’s book bag to pretend to look for something so that I could suck the now forming tears back into my eyes. We walked her into her class and found her seat. We opened her crayons and got her started on the morning coloring paper. I took a few more pictures and then told her that I loved her. She leaned over to me and said, “I’m a little scared.” I hugged her then whispered into her ear (with a seemingly happy…yet shaky voice) “You are going to love it and I cannot wait to hear all about your exciting day!” Then I got up and looked at Dustin with a look that said, “You can stay…but I have to leave now before I lose it!” He bent down to Maddie and hugged, tickled, and kissed her while I walked out. I made it out of her classroom…through the double doors…and under the staircase…then the tears just flowed. I tried to stop…but I couldn’t. I kept thinking I could stop…then another wave would hit me. I am sure I was only under that staircase for about 2 minutes but it seemed like an hour. Dustin stood guard for me so that I would not look like an idiot if anyone walked by. Then he grabbed my hand and we walked out of the building. We didn’t talk too much…he knew I was doing well to just be walking without sobbing. We got to our cars and he told me that he was proud of me and that he loved me. He asked if he could do anything and I told him that I would be okay…I just needed to get through this day. I got into my car and headed for work (I figured work would make the day go faster) and cried…and cried…and cried. I was not fearful or anxious. I knew she was in a wonderful place with amazing people. I knew she was ready for school and even excited to go. I knew that she would be able to sit with Ty for lunch. I knew she was still mommy’s girl and that she would be excited to see me when I picked her up. So…why am I still crying?
I am crying because even though a new, wonderful season in my life is starting…I have to say goodbye to an old one. I don’t know what all this new seasons holds…but I know what my last season held. It had great memories and amazing times that I will always remember and cherish. That season was comfortable and routine. It was life…everyday life…and I loved it! It will always be a part of me…even though it cannot be the season I am in now. It seems as though every time I go into a new season I dread it…only to realize that I like it better than the one before. Hopefully this season will be the same way.
I am excited for my baby girl and for all that she will learn and do. And someday…she will call me crying about her babies going to school and I will let her know that she will be fine and so will they. However…that phone call had better not come for a very, VERY, long time…I still need to get through her first day of school!!


  1. loved it and am crying with you. She is going to do great! So proud of you. (can't wait to see those pics)

  2. I was thinking about you today.... You are such a good Mommy. Thanks for sharing. Love ya!

  3. awwwwwwwwwwwww.....funny thing, I sing you are my sunshine to the boys too!!!!!, only I chnage the word sunshine to their name...." you are my sammy, my only Sammy..." etc or You are my Brendan...." and the other day Sammy was watching me hum to Brendan and he smiled so big and tried to sing a few parts with me- it was something!

    THe kids are just beautiful Jess- You are a lucky mom!