Rowan left for school Tuesday morning--all excited for her new teacher, new friends, new school supplies. I had this song by Sixpence None the Richer stuck in my head all morning:
There she goes
There she goes again
Racing through my brain
And I just can't contain
This feeling that remains
I remember when that band played a concert at Hope College--they were a young, one-hit wonder and I'm pretty sure they weren't singing about sending their daughter off to school. But the lyrics still kind of describe how I feel. She was "going" again--away, somewhere, without me. It's been happening more and more lately. I haven't been accompanying her on playdates in quite a while. She's had soccer practice and gymnastics and tennis camp all without me. She's gaining independence, forming her own opinions, making her own choices.
The feeling that remains, though, is a little harder to pinpoint. I definitely miss her during parts of the day. Yesterday Tate and I went to Holland to go to the farmer's market, visit Lance at work and go to my doctor's appointment (where the scale is now over 150, thanks to the yummy summer treats and this big baby who we'll meet in less than 4 weeks!!). She would have loved to go and I felt a twinge of guilt that Tate and I were out having fun without her. Tate misses her even more than I do. He's woken up each day excited to play with his sister and we have to explain that she's going to school and he says "Again? All day, every day? Really?" and he wants to wait by the front window for the bus to bring her home. But, of course, when she does come home, she's tired. She's already had a long day, she's hungry (because she chose to talk with friends instead of eating her lunch), she's not really in a mood to do much of anything other than have a snack and relax a bit. She's fighting going to soccer practice (which makes me really thankful I didn't let her sign up for anything else in the fall). But I'm still excited for her new adventure. I'm hopeful that she'll mature a bit, that she'll be challenged and rise to the occasion of a challenge, that she'll make some lasting friendships and make good choices even if I'm not there to encourage her.
In a little while, Tate and I will make our way to the sidewalk to wait for Rowan to get off the bus. We'll be all ready to hear about her day while we snack on watermelon on the front porch. And her almost 8 hours away from us will be condensed into 5 minutes, if we're lucky.