I see you, Mama.
I know you.
I’ve been you.
Today, as you send your kindergartner out the door, maybe for the very first time, emotions are running high.
And so much more.
Most of all, you wonder if you’ve done enough. You wonder if you’ve prepared him to sit still that long (he will). You wonder if she knows her letters (she doesn’t have to). You wonder if you’ve emphasized kindness or courage or faith enough.
And you wonder, somewhere deep down, if you’ve been enough.
I cried that morning when I sent my first baby to kindergarten in her little blue dress and pink tennis shoes and a headband barely attempting to tame those unruly cowlicks. She stood in line behind a huge, cut-out teddy bear on a stick that bore the name of her teacher, Mrs. Nagle, with kids she would later know throughout her high school years.
Her nametag, also in the shape of a teddy bear, said, “Katie W.” Crumpled within five minutes, of course.
I felt slightly helpless as I watched her march into her classroom, all smiles, all “I’ve got this, Mom.”
I was surprised by my tears. Wasn’t I supposed to be happy? This is what I had been looking forward to all summer. Two and a half glorious hours without being peppered with questions or of being asked to read or of breaking up fights with sisters.
Still, I cried.
The other two were slightly easier, but only slightly. Because every time I send a child off to school I wonder, have I been enough?
Have I spent the time I should spend with her? Have I encouraged her in her faith? Have I been the mom she has needed me to be?
Have I . . ?
Here’s what I want you to know, sweet mama. You have.
You have been enough. You ARE enough. You are exactly the mom your kindergartener needs for right now, today, forever.
My own mom spent many years grieving—truly grieving—to the point that being a mom was hard. Today I’m sure she has the same questions we all do: have I been enough? And yet, I can honestly say that I never once, ever, have looked back on my childhood and wished my mom had been more.
She was there. And she was mine.
Dear mama, know this. Believe it. Trust it. You are exactly who your child needs.