Thursday, August 12, 2010

Everything's Better with Bacon.

Well, last Thursday it happened.

Sophie's first day of Kindergarten.

I think it was probably pretty obvious from my previous post and the chubby-cheeked-trek-down-Memory-Lane that I wasn't quite ready to let her go.  Even though, admittedly, the thought of a teeny break from the glitter glue antics did sound pretty darn nice.  (I only yelled, "SWEET GLORIOUS FREEDOM!" and frolicked, dancing and prancing in the street, that one time Wednesday night.)  ...Still, I knew I'd probably get a little misty when I left her in her classroom and made the Sad Mom Walk back to the car.  How can you weather a momentous event such as The Big K without squeaking out a few tears, right?  So, despite not being a crier, I'd prepared myself to be a little "out of sorts" that morning.  Maybe a tiny bit droopy.  What I did not expect was to burst into tears the moment my eyes popped open.  Nor did I  expect to continue squalling, working my way through an entire box of Kleenex by mid-morning. 

It was ugly, peeps.  U-G-L-Y.

By the time I ended up calling Russ at work and telling him, through sniffles and snorts and Snuffleupagus-ness, that I was a little upset about Sophie being gone and that maybe we should go get a little something to eat together for brunch, I was so puffy I looked like I needed an epi pen to counteract the bee attack on my face.  I knew I wasn't fit for public, but I thought maybe the distraction would help restore me to normalcy.  I should've known when Russ asked me where I wanted to eat and I blurted out, "Sleepy Hollow Elementary School!" and started ugly-crying again that normalcy was not in the cards. 

But we forged bravely ahead.

I collected myself during the drive to IHOP and was doing most-excellently - right up to the point when the waitress walked up with the menus with the smiley face pancake on the front that Sophie always orders.  That's when I let out a noise like a stepped-on cat and buried my face in the roll of toilet paper I'd carried into the restaurant.  The poor waitress.  She wasn't sure what was going on.  She glanced nervously over at Russ, who started chuckling.  He reached over to pat me on the arm, and I guess based on that display of spousal support, she decided whatever was wrong with me hadn't been inflicted upon me by my man.  She turned to me and asked, "You okay, honey?"  I told her I was, indeed, not okay - that I'd just deposited our only child at kindergarten.  (Only it came out, "KINdergaaaaaaarten!")  It was obvious that things were headed to the scary place again.  She bear-hugged me and said, "Aw, it'll be okay, little mama."  She walked back into the kitchen and when she returned with our waters, she was carrying a plate of bacon.  A little impromptu offering before our meal.  Because apparently crispy strips of fat is the bandaid for distraught mothers.

As it turns out, it was.

By the time our breakfasts arrived, I was significantly less of a basket case.

After I was settled back at home and Russ had returned to work I started thinking, about Sophie and all she's been through to get to this point.  In all the years of reflux, and feeding aversions, syringing formula, and countless doctor's appointments, spontaneous vomit launchings, feeding therapy, barf buckets, and dehydration, just EVERYTHING that was involved in caring for Sophs for all those years, I never imagined we would get to this point. Sophie. Going to school. With a $1.75 in her backpack for lunch in the cafeteria.

THE CAFETERIA.

For most every other kindergartner on the planet, the cafeteria is just a normal part of A Day in the Life...  But for Sophie, this day seemed impossible. 

I remember when she was three and a half, still totally syringe-fed, still completely uninterested in drinking or eating on her own, or able to do so - had she been interested.  I remember finally coming to a point one night where I just said, "Okay, Lord!  If this is how it's going to be, then - okay.  If I have to go to her kindergarten classroom periodically throughout the day with the syringe to keep her hydrated, so be it."  I remember saying outloud, "If she never carries a lunchbox to school, it will be O-KAY!"  I don't think I totally bought the easy-breezy attitude I was trying to sell myself, but I do remember acknowledging that as long as the kids didn't tease her mercilessly or call her 'Syringe Girl' or 'Barf Girl', I could make peace with all the other stuff.  I distinctly recall reaching the point that night where I made the conscious decision to stop desperately searching for "the end of it" and just rest in what we had - a life-loving, vivacious little girl, who despite her overwhelming, exhausting health issues, was happy and, really, for all practical purposes "healthy".

That moment of acceptance was such a big thing for me.

Still, I had so many hopes for Kindergarten.

Thursday, that moment of independence came.  And the magnitude of it hit me in such a rush.  The gratitude.  The years of struggle finally having come to fruition .  The hope realized.  The reflection of so many prayers answered so completely.


It was such an amazing feeling.

I bawled.  And headed for the kitchen to see if we had any bacon.

8 comments:

aimee said...

Bacon really is the answer to many of life's questions.

We have two years until our daughter starts kindergarten and 4 1/2 years until our son starts. I already cry about it sometimes and I'm not even a crying kind of gal.

Sophie looked adorable on her first day, btw!

Anonymous said...

Sophie is the walking, talking (loudly!) manifestation of the faithfulness of God. Never in all those very tough years did she appear remotely affected by her inability to eat on her own. She still is the happiest baby and child that I've ever known, and I've known scads in my many years as AWANA director. Love, Mooms

sarah p said...

Aw. Kristy, I was thinking that exact same thing the day she went to Kindergarten. How you had talked to us about coming to the point where you were just going to have to go with her to the cafeteria to feed her her meal. What an amazing thing! It's so cool to see how God has healed her over the years...and that days like this went off without a hitch and she marched happily off to school. (without a hitch for her. for you maybe not as much.)
I'm proud of you for making it through those first few days. Please, oh please, can I call you when Jackson goes off to school? I'm pretty sure I will need drugs of some kind.
Love you all!

p.s. that waitress is the bomb.

Kristy said...

Aww- that made me get all teary/lump in the throaty! What a beautiful, funny, silly girl! :) I love Sophie stories so much!

Kritter Krit said...

Aimee, it really is, you know. Crunchy, salty, fatty therapy. :-)

Mooms, I know. She is such a happy little sweetie. If only I were as tough as she is!

Sayrah, yes, definitely. When Shacksy has his big day, call me. I'll talk you through it sans drugs...and I'll email you all the bacon recipes I have! ((hugs))

Kristy, she is a little goob! When she's not making me want to rip my hair out, she's making me laugh 'til I about wet my pants. :-)

Val said...

Awww...you guys are doing such a great job with sweet Sophie (who I have yet to meet!=)

Kritter Krit said...

No way, Val! Is that RIGHT? I thought we got together one time over at Steve and Kathy's house when the girls were really little. ...Did I totally imagine that? Maybe I just FEEL like I know you! Blogs can be tricky that way. :-)

Anonymous said...

Kristy,

Lol, girl! I read this out loud to Lizzie and couldn't stop exclaiming about what a great writer you are.

~Connie

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