Yesterday, I was a mom to a kindergartener.
Today, I am a mom to a first grader.
No pomp. No circumstance. No big party with her classmates with treats and hugs from her teachers. No end-of-year clean up to bring the experience of filling the room with her creations and laughter full circle.
Instead, we received her belongings, worksheets, and artwork in a black garbage bag.
Instead, there was a final Zoom class with 20 classmates. Twenty six year olds individually voicing their mix of feelings about kindergarten ending.
As the children bravely and innocently shared, tears fell.
I mourned for the moments that my daughter doesn’t know she missed. I mourned this “new normal” that has replaced inperson connections with abrupt electronic contactless transactions. I mourned that no proper goodbye exists during this time.
As a lump in my throat and a tightness in my chest grew, the sadness flowed.
My emotions were not only of the moment but bottled up over the past three months of quarantine. Fermenting and bubbling under the surface while I scrambled to keep it together as employee, wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, teacher, and mom.
I mourned the robust and engaging lessons my daughter would have had instead of my husband and I playing teacher. I mourned her friendships that never got a chance to truly blossom. I mourned all of the what-if’s.
I mourned the inability for me to change any of it.
I realize, above all, I am mourning that everything is changing. The changing that is inevitable because our children do nothing but grow and change and we have no control over it. After six years of constant change, I am again reminded that I will be battling these emotions for all of motherhood – in times of COVID or not.
I will mourn again and again the change from old normal to new normal.
After these emotions flow, I will be ready to embrace the change.
I will be ready to embrace being a mother to a first grader.