My Baby Birdy Is Getting Her Wings

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My oldest baby starts kindergarten tomorrow.

At some times we’ve been sure it would never come, and at others feared the same. Libbie’s been ready – at least in her mind – to go to kindergarten since she was about 2. She would ask, “When can I go to eleventure school?” She had to be 5 AND it had to be August, we told her, feeling like it was miles and miles away down the road.

And now we’re at that crossroads.

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I fold her clothes tonight and wonder if she will still want to wear Elsa and Anna shirts. Will she still be obsessed with pink and love jeggings? Or will she be brainwashed into Justice and want to wear high heels? How will her thoughts and ways change, influenced by other little girls and boys and teachers for so many hours a week?

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If you know me or have read this blog basically at all, you know that my relationship with Libbie can be difficult. She is strong-willed to the core, fighting any instructions and reframing them to make them her idea. If she ever just said “yes” to something I told her to do I might pass out from surprise. She still has tantrums that put a 2-year-old to shame.

But then she is sugar-sweet and cuddly and loves to read, always has. She adores making art, singing, and dancing. She loves her brothers, sometimes a little too hard. She is often in her own little imaginary world, talking and singing to herself, not unlike another little girl I once knew, 27 or so years ago.

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She is tender-hearted and very sensitive, probably an HSP. She frightens easily, hates cats and most dogs, and is sometimes shy.

I afraid she will change. Without me knowing it. She’s never gone to school, been away from me, more than 15 hours a week since we moved to Chattanooga when she was 14 months. What will it be like? She is ready. I am ready. But we’re both teetering on the edge, unsure how to proceed.

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All I can do is pray that we have and will continue to raise her to find her strength in Jesus, knowing that we love and support her in all she does. I pray now, as I did when she was only 6 months old, that she will know the breadth and depth and height and width of God’s love and be filled with His fullness.

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I love this girl and I’m afraid I’ve messed everything up being too strict, not firm enough, too depressed, too crazy, too … something. Will she feel firmly her place in our family, in our love, and strive? Will she struggle to make friends, not to withdraw, to have confidence, like that other little girl I once knew?

I know it will be happy, and it will be good. And in every happy moment of growth, we feel grief in the growing. I am delighted. I am scared. I am grieving my preschooler.

We love you, Libbie. Go rock out at kindergarten. Be yourself and be His.

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6 thoughts on “My Baby Birdy Is Getting Her Wings

  1. Dearest Jessie, I will give you the advice I often gave to the parents of my middle school students who suffered the same growing pains as you are. Please don’t put your childhood into the lens of your daughter’s. She is her own person, ready to face her own life in her own way. School is not the same as it was when you went, and neither is life — it’s better and it’s also worse. Parenting is not for wimps, and sometimes letting your birdie fly is the hardest thing you think you have to do. I have faith in you and Libbie that she will blossom into the beautiful woman you want her to become one day. In the meantime, do a lot of listening and wait to act until you know the whole story. I can’t wait to hear how her first month went!

  2. This has me all sniffly crying. I love how real and honest you are about your feelings. My baby– my baby baby!– heads off to kindergarten this year, as you know. I’m excited for her and sad for me. Anyway, if what I’ve witnessed in the schools with my older two is any indication, I feel safe in telling you this– it is really NOT other elementary (or “eleventary” 😉 ) students brainwashing children into brand/style choices. Nine times out of ten, it’s the moms trying to give their daughters an “edge” with their pricey, “cutting edge” garb. I know too many moms living vicariously through their children and deliberately trying to MAKE them popular/cool. Most of those little girls would happily prance around in Children’s Place or Target stuff. The majority still do, after all, and I’ve never seen them given any grief for it. Libbie may well decide she’s over Elsa and Anna… but it will be because she’s a strong-willed 5yo, not because her peers change her. 🙂

  3. I so get this. My oldest is going to kindergarten too. I’m truly excited for the both of us but with unknowns always comes a little bit of fear. My daughter sounds so much like yours; loves books, sensitive, yet is strong-willed to the core. I worry constantly that I’m either too strict or too lenient — you’re in good (?) company.

  4. Randomly saw your blog link on Chattavore. Libbie did an awesome job on her presentation! So creative! She’ll thrive this year and it’s evident that you’ve prepared her very well. I’ll be praying that she will trust Christ and tangibly feel His strength tomorrow.

    • Thank you for finding me, Winnie!! (I <3 Chattavore. Like obsessively.) Her teacher said she would record her presentation, I hope she did! I was worried if I stayed she would be too nervous. But thank you. Excited to get to be friends as our kids grow together.

  5. Thank you for this, Jessie. I’m dealing with a similar issue but on a smaller scale, sending my oldest off to preschool. I am a teacher and my first day with students is his first day of preschool. I was really hoping to get some coverage at school so that I could walk him in on his first day, but I don’t think that’s going to fly on the first day of school. Thank you for sharing your feelings that I am also feeling, not knowing if you’re doing it right or doing enough. Let your birdie fly, mama, she’ll soar! I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during this start to a new school year!

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