This is Unity's self portrait from art class. She gave herself earings and lots of bright colors, of course. That is my girl, full of color and fancy.
One of the big changes that Kindergarten has brought is that there is a bigger piece of her life that is a mystery to me. When she was in preschool I knew who her friends were, I knew how she played with them, I knew her favorite works and I had a pretty good idea of how she interacted with her environment.
Maybe that's coming, with time. I do have an idea of who her friends are ( and I am still instrumental in defining her friendships, a role I am in no way ready to release) and I hear fragments of her days, I see the worksheets and the stories as they come home. But it is clearly true, that there is a big piece of her life that belongs only to her now, a self portrait she has to show me when she comes home. (Or I have to ask and plead to see, as the case may be.)
I know this is what happens. My job is to help her let me go. Not completely of course, and over a long period of time but still. My job is to prepare and nourish the soil where she will inch into her own vibrant tall-stalked self.
It's a good thing no one told me about this part when I was a new mom, holding the small squalling collection of needs that came from my body, that felt like another extension of my body. Or maybe they did tell me and I couldn't hear it, this is an old old story after all. That first mad rush into love, when there are no boundaries between Self and the Beloved, when you become each other. And then, always, the realization of boundaries, of limits, of the edge of limbs and hearts. Learning to say, over and again, "Hello, here I am again" and teaching each other again, how to know, how to love each other.
She's bringing home her self portrait. She's teaching me who she is.