Especially these days, the end of the school year days, the garage sale-ing the baby stuff days, the selling off of books and double stroller days. We are slowly saying goodbye, and sometimes I feel this weird saltiness emerging from my eyes that normal moms, grandmas or humans call tears.
Oh, I cry all the time. About me and how hard we have it and about not getting what I want. That's called selfishness and I know it well. But the sentimental bit? I don't like to admit it, but it's true, and it feels uncomfortable in my all-too-flimsy exterior.
The girl's last day of school is Friday and today I had to withhold the urge to grab her teacher by the hands and run off with her. To my house. Where she would teach and love my kids forever. Because this woman gets our girl, that she's adventurous and sassy, wild and rare. At our last meeting, she looked me in the eye and said, "I'm praying she will find a teacher who won't stifle her creativity, who will let her be her own person, even when to us it looks different. She is so special." When she said those words to me, she had tears in her own eyes, and on Friday we say goodbye to her and the precious care (and zebra-print) she's given our girl.
Yesterday we sold our double buggy ("stroller" to ye Yanks) and said goodbye to babyhood. The wee lad is still two and not ready to run free in airports and city centres, but his sister has long outgrown it and the fact is there are no more babies coming along. He's it for us, and from here on out he will get bigger and older and independenter. But that buggy saw us many countries and miles, adventures and oceans. It gave me freedom to roam with all three of them, wind in my face and sand under our feet. Now it belongs to a nice lady with baby on hip, as well as in utero. She needs it more than me. Her adventures are just beginning.
We have a saying in our house: people over things. The closer we get to Ireland, the more goodbyes of things and, yes, even people. When it comes to the things part, it stings for a brief moment, but I look towards the people and know this is how it works. But when you have to say goodbye to the people who have loved and shaped your kids, your hard bones bend a little, and you wonder how your child's precious heart - and yours - will contain all the people in all the world who gently tap into place pieces of her story.
See? Sap gushing all over the place.