A List of Moments

morning light

As a mother, there will be many moments of my daughter’s life that will be engraved in my mind. Moments that I’ll never forget. Moments that will come back to me years later, when I’m experiencing yet another milestone in my little girl’s life.

I’ve only been a mother for two and a half years and already my heart is starting its collection of moments that can make me smile or sigh, just like that.

The moment I held E for the first time.
Her first smile.
The first time I heard her laughter.
Her first steps.
Her first fever.
Her first birthday.
The night I told her she couldn’t have breast milk anymore.
The first time she woke up past 6:00 am.

As you can see, since I am still a newbie mom, my list is full of firsts. And today, another “first” was added to this list.

The first time she went to preschool.

Now, it was only for a couple of hours. Just to see if she was a good fit. And she would only go a couple times a week anyway. (I’m actually still trying to decide if I should enroll her or not as I write this.)

But still.

Spending time away from me with someone other than family for the first time is a huge step. (Well, at least it felt that way to me.) After all, it makes the list of moments.

I was talking to my sister last night and she told me how she shed a few tears when she dropped her first born off at day camp for the first time. I jokingly replied that I would probably break out in song and dance. (Freedom!!)

But this morning, as I walked down the hall to the preschool holding E’s little hand, there wasn’t a hint of a Broadway musical in my head. It was more a jumble of worry and fear. Would she cry? Would she be scared? Would she miss me?

We walked through the doors and as I began talking to one of the teachers, another teacher approached E and took her hand. E didn’t look back as she was guided into the classroom.

Where was the drama? Where were the tears? (Or a “Bye, Mommy!” at least?)

And I realized. She was ready. So ready.

When I picked her up a couple of hours later, I asked her how she liked preschool.

Tanoshikatta (I had fun),” she said. “Mommy wa inakatta. Grandma mo Grandpa mo inakatta. Demo hitoride daijobu datta. (Mommy, you weren’t there. Grandma and Grandpa weren’t there either. But I was okay alone.)”

And those words, along with the image of her walking away from me, hand-in-hand with the teacher, will be engraved in my mind as the moment that my little baby became a little girl.

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13 Comments

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  1. I would have cried! I guess E is older than my monster, I think? He is turning 3 next month.

    I think I’m going to not send him to preschool only because of how much it costs…………….and I wanna explore HI with him.

    I agree the first child has a long list of things you have with them. You are so strong Miwa and it’s amazing that she took it so well. Of course there will be good and bad days! Another step on the road of motherhood.

    • E is turning three in January so I think T is older than E by just a few months. The “preschool” that I mentioned is more like a daycare (+a little more) that’s completely in English. We (hopefully) only have a few more months left here in Japan but I thought it would be good for E to get used to an all-English environment before we go back to the States. Right now, I’m the only one who speaks to her in English so she understands quite a bit but doesn’t really say much in English. (Her Japanese on the other hand, is excellent!)

      I’m still debating whether to enroll her or not (I’ve been losing sleep over this!) but I’m thinking it’ll be good for her since she seemed so ready yesterday.

      And I can totally understand wanting to explore Hawaii with your little man!! I definitely would too ;)

      • Ah hai wakarimashita.

        I think it is good then to have her there then. Okay I was like whoa! Preschool is starting at 2 now yikes! I know in HI it can start as soon as 3… But I am not ready yet. Although T does go to day care he is still in a home environment so it’s not school school.

        That is exciting you are moving soon! Hopefully you can get E I. Japanese school though when you get back to the states! I have a good friend here that wanted to send her kids to one but it’s a two drive to it…

        • We actually don’t know when we’re moving yet, but it’s just wishful thinking on my part that it’ll be within the next few months! And yeah, I’ll probably have to think about Japanese school once we’re settled in the States, but that’ll be a little further along, I think. (A two hour drive is crazy!!) I’m kind of nervous about thinking about that because I absolutely hated having to go to Japanese school! But we’ll see…! I do want to make sure that E can speak Japanese and everything, but I’m getting waaay ahead of myself here ;)

  2. I have just spent the past hour reading through your posts, Miwa! I really love your new blog – the way it looks, what you’re writing about, and, of course, your pictures. I’m so glad to be back to blogging, if only to catch up with what everyone else has been doing! ;)

    This last photo of E is perfect. The light pouring in the window is gorgeous, and her inquisitive expression just makes the shot. Good work!

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