Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hey, where do you think you're going?

foot.tapping

Every weekday for two weeks now the weirdest thing has been happening. Little Eleni, yea, I said little...teeny tiny Eleni is up and dressed at the crack of dawn. What could possibly be so important? Shoes too? Really? As in you're leaving the house? Certainly not. Neh-nuh neh-nuh no.

standard.attire

Just days ago she was flitting her sparkley self around the house barefoot from one adventure to another. Some with me, some without me. All of them near me. I could hear the adventures, and would look up from my work sometimes to see them. It was good. I was happy. She was happy. But now. Well. Eleni started a new adventure. Pre-school. Sigh. In fact I haven't even been able to write about this until now. I have been a bit reflective though, huh? I thought I would feel like 16 years of waiting would make me happy to have all the children cared for during the day. Happy would not describe this feeling. It's an ache of sorts. I can't explain it. My nose starts to sting like tears are about to come when I think about the silence in the house. The sparkleys just hanging there with no one to dance them from one room to another. My lap is like this big empty space that makes it really easy to type with no one's sweet smelling head in my face while I try to see the monitors. Then the swelling feeling around the heart comes. It feels tragic even though I know its right.

lap

Back to Eleni. She's been in tears too. She cries every time I pick her up to bring her home. She can't stand the thought of not playing with her 14 new best friends, learning from her two favorite teachers, eating yummy prepared hot meals (everyday at 12 on the nose!), napping on fancy little cots and experiencing one outer-home adventure after another. Every morning I remind her that she need not put herself through the torture of a ride to school with Daddy and the unspeakable torment of memorizing all the street names and buildings between our house and the newly built architecture-award-nominated little perfect school. But she goes anyway. She goes anyway!

early

Not only does she go but she waits to go as though being here is the torture. Being here is great! Are you kidding me?! Theres pajamas. Coffee. Phone calls. Errands. Writing. Blogging. Camera malfunctions. Laundry. UPS shipments. Me! I'm here! What's not to love, I tell you??

waiting

Okay. Go. Just be back here before dark and promise to sparkle and sing and tell me every detail of every minute of every day of your time without me. And hug me harder from now on. It's imperative. Lets arrange some time with me trying to write with you in my lap for old time's sake, 'kay? I love you and you are growing to be an impressively lovely girl. Mean it.
xo Mommy

63 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, and I SO remember when you did it to me! You just put the feelings in to words better than I ever could.
    Mom

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  2. Yep, letting them go is one of the hardest things.

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  3. I completely concur! Anna Maria! It is a constant struggle of having all of that wonderful chaos surrounding us mommy designers...trying to get it all done and yet trying to be the best mom on the planet to these angels who make every moment count! Preschool for my twin girls was difficult at first because they are my last ones...(2 boys in Elementary) but it has been a blessing too. The preschool is within walking distance of our home and I know their exeriences there are allowing such growth and development, not to mention one of my best friends happens to be their teacher! I do love picking them up too, and hearing every wonderful detail of the morning, because in their minds everything about every day is the best in their minds! And when they get home, I am a bit more rested and caught up on life and business and can focus on being that important role as Mommy! Christmas blessings to you!
    Will you be in Atlanta for Market?...would love to meet for coffee!
    Caroline
    Multiple Blessings

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  4. Oh my. I'm crying at that thought of it. With three, soon to be four children (as soon as we can finally get this referral!), there are rough days when I think a little silence in the house would be nice. But when I really think about it, my heart gets the exact feeling in it that you describe and I take a little gasp.

    Tisra
    mommy to three, waiting to be matched with our fourth child (this time, via Taiwan)
    http://lifetrain.blogspot.com
    www.tisrafadelyoriginals.etsy.com

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  5. So sweet. You made me cry. I think I'm already anticipating the pain of separation from my littlest, even though she's barely 18 months old!

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  6. My eyes teared up reading this post. I dread the day my daughter will go to preschool (which should be in January, but I just can't get up the nerve!!). I can't imagine my day without her. I know she has to go, and our lives will go on, and it IS good (for both of us), but the thought of her BEING, actually existing away from me, me who loves her best, is the hardest part to accept. But at least I'll be here when she gets home to hear all her stories and cuddle and be silly and never let her forget she'll always be my little girl.

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  7. Oh my! you touched a nerve and I have a tear in my eye too. Our little darlings really must separate from us and join the big world. It's best for everyone. What a joy and a relief that she loves school so much!

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  8. *sniffle* I know that pain all too well. It was a relief to become a SAHM when my 2nd child was born, and not have to take him to daycare. And, my daughter didn't have to go to daycare anymore. But, sadly, it is time for her to start pre-school in a couple of months. So, I have to feel that pain all over again. Well, at least I will still have my baby boy at home with me. *sigh*

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  9. Liz Cadorette8:48 PM

    Oh, Anna Maria, just RIP my heart right. out. why don't you? :)

    My little Sophie turned four last Saturday. FOUR. The time is rocketing by so quickly it seems patently unfair.

    Thank you for sharing this!

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  10. Sandi Henderson8:51 PM

    Oh whaaa. I feel your pain, but maybe in a little different sense. Eliza is gearing up for that too, just as soon as a full time spot opens up. Right now it's just one day a week which is killing me. She is my oldest and I feel like my world is about to spin out of control! The torture and joys of motherhood.

    Sandi

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  11. Anna Maria-
    You make me dread the day my little one leaves me for school…and I don't even have a little one yet.

    I was just remarking how fast time goes as I get older. I can only imagine it speeds up even more when your children grow older too.

    Yikes

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  12. Ahhh, you make me nostalgic for those days. But as a mom coming from the other side of this (with 2 DD's) I can say with a lot of assurance to you all that it just gets better and better. Each new thing they do and if you play your cards right you will be smack dab in the middle of it all. The whirlwind will encompass you and leave your breathless!! My oldest is now in another state and realizes that she really misses home and her family. The middle DD is away at college and begs me to stay home when she is in town and spend every moment with her, she misses her mommy time. So cherish all the little girl times and enjoy the journey. It is a BLAST!!

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  13. Oh my goodness. I've never cried so hard reading a blog. Ah! My pretty princess is off adventuring, too. Why can't time stand still?

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  14. now you've got me rethinking my life a year from now. my youngest will start pre school. he's the last of 3 and relishes in his daily task of sitting in my lapmoving his head from side to side to block the computer screen... yes all deliberate. now maybe i wont be so eager for him to go.

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  15. Miss Sassy http://sassypriscilla.typepad.com9:53 PM

    Thanks for putting my feelings these last few months into words. I put off registering Aidan for preschool because I didn't want to deal with it. But I thought it best for him since he didn't know anyone his own age. He loves it. I love him loving it but the house is empty without him. Plus, knowing that he will be my only child without this being my original plan is making it tougher.

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  16. Amber9:54 PM

    Oh this is too sweet...and only this morning I was trying to get my almost 2 year old off my lap while I was typing...thanks for reminding me it goes by so fast!

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  17. Christine10:22 PM

    Oh wow, she actually wants to go! My daughter was like that with preschool also. Now she is 18 and hasn't left the house! In fact I ended up homeschooling her after preschool was over. So now, I am ready to let her go and, well, she won't. LOL. Home is where the heart and everthing else is, LOL! Perhaps you need another little one to keep you company at home ;)

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  18. i read this and wondered if my mom felt this way about me...i bet she did...though it is hard to imagine.

    thank you for sharing these pieces of your world...such a beautiful spirit you have there as she goes out into the world on her next adventure...

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  19. Mary Ann/Ca11:46 PM

    Oh but life comes full circle as your Mom can tell you. Your children will run off and grow up strong and sweet and wise. And then some day, just like my DD will in a few months, bring our first grandchild home in a and I sit waiting anxiously to snuggle with a little one on my lap again.

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  20. ok, ok....i'm enjoying every moment of the bumps and jolts and jabs on my lap while I type away....and smelling the clean little head of hair under my chin...it's just so cozy, like you said. You put it perfectly, AM ! My littlest one is just a few strides behind your littlest one.....sniff, sniff.....enjoy the kids while they are home on vacation! :)

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  21. It does get easier as time goes on and you will eventually get used to having some quiet time. Once the empty nest syndrome is gone that is. Then comes the joy of hearing about their days and attending all their school events.

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  22. Poor you, they never tell you when you want a baby how much pain is involved. First school, high school.
    My 'baby' has left home to go to university. How did this happen, she was only born a year or two ago I swear.

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  23. I just had to come back here again this morning, and here I am: tears in my eyes as I'm missing all my "babies"--wishing I could be closer to each and every one of them.

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  24. Ack! It's too early to cry. I haven't even gotten my little one dressed for nursery school yet.

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  25. Laura/DaPFG (pinkfontgirl.livejournal.com)7:22 AM

    again, can't see the pictures from here at work, but i think it makes the words more noticable. and i love that the very first comment on this entry is one from your mom. makes the circle complete or somethin'.

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  26. Ohhh, this is on my way....
    But for this moment I write this text, can't see the monitor, but smell the sweet smelling head of my sixs't.......hhhhmmmmmmmmm!!!

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  27. oh thats so cute and sad at the same time, but im sure it will get easier with time lol

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  28. Oh dear. Everyone looks at my 3 year old, and asks *preschool, when?* And I want to scream *No! No way! What's the hurry?* But she would love it...
    They are like little muses, dear companions, and it seems only right that we are the only ones to know them and to care for them, but alas it cannot last... sigh.

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  29. Right now...I feel like it will never come, the moment when I can get things done while they are at school or, just sit and drink my coffee. But I become a bit teary at the fact it goes too fast and my oldest will begin Kindergarten next school year and I am stumped. I am not looking forward so much to the alone time. Well, when they aren't listening or the house is in chaos, maybe then. But I love the little's sweater vest. She dresses well!

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  30. Bittersweet. Is there any other word so perfect to describe the feeling of being a Mom? Excited to see who they will become as they grow up, but desperate to keep them your baby, your little girl to hold close forever.

    Lovely post.

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  31. I hardly dare whisper this, but I've been wondering lately after reading your posts if perhaps, just perhaps, someone might possibly have a small case of the uh, "baby itches"? Just seen it in myself enough to recognize some of the symptoms. :)

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  32. Tears welling up in my eyes now...must go hug the child that is beckoning me to sit and do puzzles....it's a difficult balance at times, but oh the seasons are so short!

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  33. Debbie, Pennsylvania11:23 AM

    Anna Maria, Ok, now I'm feeling super guilty for loving that my 9 year old son is in school today....I have so much to do in my shop today. He is like a bull in a china shop when I bring him here. I do however feel your mommy lonesomeness on a grander scale. My daughter is away at collage most of the year....she's 20 now but I recall those first days of school like they were yesterday. She just came home for winter break and I stand at the doorway to her bedroom just staring at her sleeping. I gave her a kiss on her cheek while she was sleeping and told her "I love when you're home." She told me the next morning that she heard me and gave me a big hug. Just wanted to share this with you.

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  34. Ohh, it makes me want another baby!

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  35. Awwww...I'm tearing up while reading your story...it's so true for many of us with little ones that are finding their own way day by day.

    My youngest son is 7 and is already trying to be the man of our single parent house. He carries packages for me that are bigger than him, holds the doors for ladies when we go to stores, and tells me when it's time to go to bed because Momma's worked long enough. Sigh....and here I am remembering when I could hold him on my chest with his little blonde head nuzzled against my chin. Time goes by too quickly doesn't it?

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  36. Ok so I have tears flowing from my eyes! My youngest just started Kindergarden this year so I went through that in September. Our babys are growing up! sniff sniff!

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  37. so sweet.. I am in the same boat, my littlest one is in preschool this year and the biggest in full! day kindergarten...

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  38. You took the words out of my mouth only I was thinking & feeling it in September. Now here it is in December and I still get a little sad running errands & seeing two of the three car seats empty when I glance in the rear view mirror. I feel a stronger, sadder tug when I notice that they have buckled one of their babies or blankets into their car seats in such a caring, arranged way before hopping out of the car. But, when I pick them up from preschool and see the crazy, windblown hair and untucked shirts with peanut butter smeared on the elbow, and I realize how much fun they had with their friends I know it is right.

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  39. deborahsoo3:14 PM

    I can be having the crapiest day.....and then I think...I wonder what Anna Maria Horner has to post....so I jump on and read....thank you for having a post today..I feel better.

    deborah

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  40. I remember crying at the sink when my daughter started school. Every day just about. Five years on I feel that same emptiness when suddenly she's out until 9.15(!!) at Guides. What to do with myself until pick up time? It is getting easier though and I am learning to use this evening time to catch up on my own stuff. It is hard when your last baby grows up but it's as it should be.

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  41. tears in my eyes for you right now, my lil guy just turned one, oh man I so don't want him to grow up!

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  42. Oh yeah -- know what you mean. But, here's a nasty little secret -- you'll grow to love that she wants to go out of the house too. And all that sparkly time sparkles just a little bit more when you've had to wait for it a little bit -- and she comes home to share everything with you :0).

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  43. i just love what you wrote.
    so true and such a wonderful description of a mother's love.
    :)

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  44. OMG you said this so beautifully! I had all those same feelings when my kids went off into the world, but I was no wear as good as you in putting it into words. You brought a tear to my eye, even though it was MANY YEARS AGO!!!

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  45. So eloquently put. I am going to be so sad when my son gets to that point! Luckily we have some time but oh my goodness, one day he is going to be all grown up!

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  46. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Dear anna,
    I´m too mother of five..
    How I understand you..
    Sometimes I just wonder that they were all grew up to stop the scriming and running around the house all day, but when just one is missing for some reason, it´s already so less noise..so empty..
    I still have my baby girls at home, the oldest will be in kindergarten next september and then the days will be so silent..
    congratulations for your beautifull
    work..
    A kiss from europe,portugal,ponte de lima..
    maria

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  47. What a wonderful post. My little girl is 26 years old and married but your post brought back exactly how I felt when she went off to school the first time. I still miss her little girl voice being here with me even after all these years.

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  48. thank you, Anna Maria...taking me back, way, way back, but still the memory flutters the heart as if....happy holidays to you. xoC

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  49. Okay...i'm sobbing because this was the last thing I needed to read right now!!!! I'm going through the whole mom missing her babies thing after having brought them back home to homeschool for a year and then sending them off again. And they're too old to want to share every little detail of their day...too busy. Why is it that our job is to teach them to be these brilliant independent people only to have our hearts broken because we miss them so much?!!!!

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  50. Carrie4:50 PM

    My baby (my first of hopefully many) is just nine months old and your post sent me into tears for the day when I will have to face this. Make sure all of your kids (and hubby too!) hug you extra hard for being such a great mom.

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  51. Anna Maria,
    I can tell you're an amazing mom.Your words resonate. I feel them completely. My story is a mixutre of all your feelings/ My oldest is away in college, #2 is in 8th gr. and they seem to need their space. I always looked to the day they would be BIG. But now it is so hard. I also have a 9th month old and 2 yr. I'm there's completely. So it hard not to do BE the same for the 2 eldest. I just make sure I'm there for the advice, the encouragement, etc. Thus I can only pray that they will always have wings to fly back to me.

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  52. Growing up is so hard to do, yet so exciting and thrilling and scary and full of heart stoppers - for both the child and the parent watching and holding on for dear life.

    Merry Christmas and I wish you and the whole family all the best for the new year.

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  53. jacquelynne9:29 AM

    So many comments must mean that you are onto something really universal here! I know just what you mean- I cried when my youngest moved into her big girl bed, and then again when she went off to Kindergarten. Now, my oldest is getting ready to go off to college next year- I find myself just avoiding thinking about it, it's just too bittersweet. I'm so proud of her and happy that she is finding her wings, yet my heart breaks thinking that she won't need her old mom so much anymore.

    Love your blog, it's just beautiful!
    Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!

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  54. My baby girl will be off to preschool in Sept. Ok, so it will only be 2 mornings a week, but still...

    Merry Christmas.

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  55. Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. My little girl will be doing this soon...

    Love the last paragraph.

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  56. You certainly seem to have struck a chord! I think every mother has those mixed feelings: happy and excited for the experiences our children get to live as they grow, but sadness for the "littleness" that they slowly let go of at the same time. My youngest is 4.5 and in his second year of preschool. It's nice having mornings to myself, but I will admit to missing his sweet-smelling little head blocking my computer screen, too! It's tougher with him than with my first, knowing that there will probably be no more babies to follow him. Every little bit that he grows up is a bit of babyhood that this house will never see again. *sniffle*

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  57. OH how I feel your pain in sending your last one to school. I seemed to wait FOREVER for all my little ones to be in school. When my fourth, and final "baby" skipped off to preschool he took a little bit of my heart right along. Coincidentally I experienced that same feeling as my oldest started her senior year of high school. It doesn't really get any easier, but you realize that those feelings of abondonment eventually fade away as the year goes on, and you see them as the little sponges of knowledge they soon become. All I can say is they will thrive, and yes, you will survive.

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  58. pinkflowerbuttons5:09 AM

    LOVE top photo, floral work and tiny cool child boots.

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  59. A story to entertain Anna Maria who is really too busy to read it...
    My last baby (now 8) on his first day of preschool..I asked him what he had for lunch...he couldn't remember and said "oh,Mama just smell my breath" then "why don't we go get you a burger and me some fries?"

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  60. What a sweeter than (bitter) sweet post! I love this. They "G O" so fast.

    xo Lidy

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  61. :( Yes, you know you have done a good job when they are able to leave you and fly on their own! I remember how left out I felt on my sun's first day at school (7 years ago all ready) when he just ran off and left me standing alone at the curb. Thank you for this reminder of how time flies. Miss Lobelia

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