I sometimes wonder about the term “cutting the cord.” Is it meant in the electrical sense, as in, pulling the plug? Cutting scissors through wire to cut power? Or is it meant in the umbilical cord way? Cut the cord and spend your life letting them go.
In that biological way, at least, you can cut the cord but you cannot cut the source of power.
It’s cutting the cord and spending your life letting them fly.
Early this week was Scarlet’s first day of nursery school. I did not spend the previous night, or even week, or even WEEKS(!) suffering from any kind of anxiety. There are a few reasons for this, and not one of them is medication. Mainly, we took this step together once before. The two of us. Daycare. Ten hours a day when she was only 2 1/2. That. Was hard. Secondly, I haven’t really been feeling anxiety lately, at least not to any noticeable degree. I still get butterflies in my stomach at random weirdness, and around people and events I love, but they’re butterflies. Not angry hornets like before.
Thirdly, and maybe this is even mainly, Scarlet has proven herself to be completely ready and excited for school. Not only did she get through daycare without incident, she goes for long weekends with her grandparents without incident. I think once or twice she told her grandmother that she missed us and would like to call us. And then forgot to do so moments later.
So early this week. It had started the night before when Cassidy painstakingly made a beautiful photo collage for her to take and keep at school. And I spent my night searching for the stuffed pink bunny that she officially designated as her “stuffie” to live at school. I also Googled “How to make hard-boiled eggs in the oven” because I had heard it existed and I wanted to put hard-boiled eggs in her lunchbox, MAINLY so that her teachers know that her parents are serious about her nutrition.
No. Mainly so that she’d eat to gain energy from protein and know how much we love her. Oven baked eggs, my friends.
The next morning was a whirlwind of packing paperwork and “stuffies” and toothbrushes and spare clothes. Making sure Des was fed and not in a soaking diaper for our departure. Crooked pigtails, cause, neither Cassidy nor I have a degree in beauty and that’s about as good as it gets. She picked her pink tutu frilly outfit and I insisted on a dark-wash jean jacket over it.
MAINLY cause it looked cool. No. Mainly because it was a cold morning!
Suddenly we were there and she slipped and fell on her way into school and Cassidy and I both braced ourselves, inwardly thinking, “Oh, sh*t!” She soldiered on, in true Scarlet fashion. Des and I got into the classroom minutes before Cassidy and Scarlet and I thought it would be funny to plop him down and say, “He’s ready for his first day of school!” Much to the confusion of everyone there. So I did that. I got a laugh from the new teacher. Good sign. Des then chilled in the center of the room, taking it all in. Luckily he has become wonderfully un-fussy and amazing in the last week as he turned three months.
So there was confusion and nerves and kids who didn’t want their parents to leave, but mainly, parents who didn’t want themselves to leave. We both hugged and kissed Scarlet, who was reigning supreme at the play-doh table. She let us go with a “Thank you, Dada” and without a backwards glance. And then, you leave. Just like that. You’re expected to leave. You leave. You’re a little misty, sure. You’re a lot grateful that you still have a three-month-old Doozer to take home.
So you hug him closer. You envision the hugs from your three-year-old you will get in only four hours.
I went home and snuggled him until he fell asleep. I thought of my mom who was on a trip until Monday, and then she anxiously raced home to get to her nearly 99-year-old mother. The attention to details about the little things that make my Nana happy. The 24/7 thought and care. Well, it reminds me of how my mom was with me, and how I am with my kids.
My Nana once let my mom go. And she came back, always and forever. Is this what they call “cutting the cord?” You can’t cut the power source. The invisible cord lives on through miles and years. It’s the true meaning of in sickness and in health.
Definitely made that morning easier to take.