Those first few weeks after Eleanor came home from the hospital, I wondered how I could get myself out from underneath that seven-pound baby. Such a tiny person. Such huge need. I was feeding her every two hours, round the clock. When would I ever read another book? Have dinner with friends? Stay awake past 9 p.m.? I wanted space to breath, just a little.
The feedings gradually became less frequent, giving me stretches of three or four hours of sleep at night, and then, blessedly, six. With sleep, motherhood became much more fun. Eleanor did baby things and then toddler things and then preschool things.
What is there left to say about the first day of kindergarten? Every cliche has been written. I feel greedy complaining about time going too fast. Though, right now, I do want to wrestle time to the ground with maniacal claws. Paralyze it.
I have had more time with Eleanor than I feel a right to. In the last five-and-a-half years, I have carved out a space for her, in my life, in my soul. Now it sometimes seems as though I need her more than she needs me. How quickly we change.
We walked her to school this morning, and I tried to catch a peek of her on the playground at lunch. Then we walked home this afternoon. She had a good day. She tells me that she’s afraid to use the school bathroom. I’m grateful to be needed a little bit.