I didn’t make new year resolutions. This is the first time in months (years?) I’ve sat down to reflect. I finally have a moment to myself because we started Fei Fei in full day preschool, five days a week. She started on Tuesday. It’s Thursday and I am forcing myself to sit with my own thoughts and express them.
Today Fei Fei had big tears and yelled over and over that she did not want to go to school. She wanted to go back home and 99 percent of me wanted to turn the stroller around and run out the door with her. But I stayed and listened and let her express her sadness, fear and anxiety. It broke me to see her in distress and I stayed beyond the school’s suggested 5 minute drop off time to the dismay of the school administrator. Her teachers coaxed her into the classroom and I slipped away with a knot in my throat as I pushed her empty stroller out the door. She turns 3 in April and I postponed full day school once already. We were going to start her in September but I got cold feet. I didn’t want to be without my only child all day.
I was supposed to have a newborn in September but I miscarried at 12 weeks in March 2016. Eric and I made a plan for Fei Fei to start school so I’d be free to tackle the demands of a new baby. We chose a neighborhood school that offers English and Mandarin instruction. It was a shorter walk than Gymboree Tribeca, where she’s taken classes since 14 months. We were ready but life didn’t go as I had planned. I’ve had time to process and mourn, but I still feel sadness about losing that baby. The pain creeps in during those moments when I’m not grounded in the now. It’s when I drift to what I thought life would be like or when I see a friend who has had their second child and I calculate how old my second child would be (4 months old today).
I should be grateful for this time to myself and I am. I am adjusting. It’s a luxury to have hours to do what I need to do and want to do without a demanding, curious, active toddler in tow or a newborn to care for 24-hours a day. When I chose to be a stay-at-home mom, I threw all my energy into motherhood. Now I have head space for more than the day-to-day care of my child, and at the moment, I am feeling bereft and a heaviness for the child who should be here. I usually don’t dwell on the miscarriage but with Fei Fei upset about going to school, I wonder, “why is she there and I am home alone?”
I know this will pass and it’s natural to grieve. Change is tumultuous and exciting and scary. I am so proud of my big growing girl and how she’s adjusting to her new school. And like I told her this morning, it’s ok to be scared and cry. It’s time for both of us to challenge ourselves and embrace our independence and be brave.
Hello 2017. I’m ready.