Today I stand at the crossroads.
My Girl from the East, who was a mush and Cheerios eater when I started this blog four years ago, (yeah, there was an anniversary here recently) graduated preschool last night in a ceremony that was so sugar frosted my teeth ached by the time it was over. Who can resist 20 five-year-olds singing with hand-made mortar boards on their heads? No one.
I’m at the end of one thing and the beginning of another. We are in the twilight of our innocence. My girl and I connected in a smoke-filled room in China almost five years ago and haven’t been apart more than a day or two since then. Stay-at-home motherhood was not what I expected. I hated some parts and loved others. I have no regrets. I was there for the first words, the first wobbly steps, the potty training, first friendships and preschool experiences. And all along the way I was at her side or close enough to catch her fall. Once she gets on in the world without me for seven hours a day, it will change. No longer will I be the all-knowing, omnipotent center of her universe.
In three months Girl from the East will board a big yellow bus, wave to me, and in a rumble of diesel exhaust leave me behind to figure out a new way to fill the hours of the days of my life.
Which brings me to the next big thing: my health. I am not better. I am not worse. I am the same in a way that I don’t want to become the new normal. I’m on the dark side of a divide, one in which something about myself will be learned once I step into the light. Maybe I’ll have to give up certain foods or household products. Maybe I’ll have to get on medication. I don’t know, but I suspect a life change.
I’ve been forced to slow down. I’ve started saying no to things without hesitation. I’ve been reading and resting a lot. I’ve let things go, particularly my gardens. They will survive. Nature is tough.
Today is the end of one thing and the beginning of another.