August 18, 2015. The day I turned thirty-four and the day my baby boy started kindergarten. Talk about feeling all the feelings on my birthday last week. I’ve never been one to really think much about getting older. Thirty was no big deal and thirty-four is no different. I mean really, the thirties have been pretty great. Days filled with welcoming babies and cute little boys running around my feet. Maybe in a few years I will feel differently, but for now…bring on another year.
Now if we are talking about Levi going to kindergarten, that’s a different story. My sweet friend described the struggle perfectly. Each stage is completely heartbreaking and totally amazing all at the same time. It is so weird and so hard to explain. You see, I should have been sending Cora to kindergarten two years ago. I remember what “should have been” her first day of school so vividly. I started seeing the cute little photos of her friends with their new backpacks coming through my feeds as I sat at home wondering what that day would have been like…what she would have been like. This week should have been my second go around with this whole kindergarten mom thing. As Levi marched so confidently into his new class on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but grieve a little over what should have been. I miss that sweet little girl so darn much. Each new milestone we hit with the boys breaks my heart all over again that she isn’t here growing up right along with them.
A little sadness? Yes. Grieving? A little. It seems to always surprise me as grief unexpectedly resurfaces again. Missing my girl? Always. But I would miss out on so much if I only lived in light of what should have been. After Cora died I remember the Guthries encouraging us to invest in the living. That has always stuck with me and helped change my perspective so many times. God has taught me through Cora’s life that each day and each milestone is a precious gift. I am not guaranteed a certain number of days with my kids. But I can invest fully into the lives of these little boys he has entrusted to me right now.
So, I did it. I sent Levi off to kindergarten yesterday. He was so ready. A small part of me wanted to hang on to him and never let go. Despite my feelings, he walked into his cute kindergarten classroom and now his first week of school is in the books. He loved it. He is so ready to go back tomorrow. And I can rejoice this week that the Lord has given us the gift of sending our healthy baby boy to kindergarten. I get to send Levi to kindergarten. It makes me cry just typing that out. Another year and another new milestone. Each a precious gift.
He was the cutest kindergartner I’ve ever seen. He was most excited about his new backpack and new shoes. And I couldn’t leave out this last photo. Brotherly love at its best. I’m not the only one who isn’t quite sure what to do without Levi around!