To Be Needed

“She didn’t seem to have trouble leaving you,” the kindergarten screener told us as we sat on tiny stools at a kid-sized table. I felt a small jab in my stomach. My soon-to-be-five-year-old is ready to start kindergarten. Heavy sigh.

When my husband and I brought her into the classroom and began filling out registration paperwork, she happily skipped away down the elementary school hall with one of the kindergarten teachers. She was confident. She was unafraid.

At first I might have secretly wished she would have been a little apprehensive. I anticipated I would need to at least give her a hug and say an encouraging “you’ll do great!” Then I asked myself if I would rather have had her cling to my leg in tears or refuse to participate. Of course the answer was no.

There are so many times when parenthood presents us with mixed emotions. We want to be needed, yet we are tired of preparing yet another bowl of cereal or reading that eighth story at bedtime. We want to raise capable kids ready for the world, yet we still want them to need our hugs and to pick them up when they fall down.

Soar, little one. I will be here for you when you need me, but also when you don’t. You are loved.