Thursday, July 10, 2008

Target Meltdown

We’ve been eagerly preparing for Kindergarten. Uniforms, discussions about the brand new school and typical days. I knew that I might experience some wistful moments leading up to Abby's first day of Kindergarten. But nothing prepared me for the emotional upheaval that the procurement of school supplies caused.

I went on my weekly run to Target, picking up thises and thats. I figured I’d knock out the purchase of Abby's supplies before we left for vacation. I pulled out my list. But I couldn’t read the words on the page. I blinked. “Hmm.” Shook my head. Ok. “Let’s see, Elmer’s Glue.” I looked up at the shelf and all the supplies were a menacing blur. I couldn’t see because of the unexpected tears that threatened to pour down my face.


I looked down at the floor, took two deep, cleansing breaths and tried again. “This is silly”, I told myself. But emotion was now the boss and logic and efficiency mere underlings. I was stuck in place, holding a list of benign school sundries and I could not locate them, look at them or purchase them. My gut was churning. My breath was shallow.

I realized I had to leave immediately before I bawled my way out of Target.

Each threatening tear made its bold statement:
Abby is starting Kindergarten.

Next month, NEXT MONTH!, my baby is going to school five days a week.

She’s going to get out of the car in her little blue jumper and peter-pan collared shirt and walk into a HUGE school. She’s going to spend more waking hours with her teacher than she will with me.

I quickly paid for my non-school related items and was dashing for the exit when I saw a mother and her 18-year-old daughter pushing a cart which carried a big metal trunk. This mother was preparing for her baby’s ultimate departure to college, to another town, to the adult part of her life.

Flood gates officially opened. “Get to the car, get to the car”, I kept muttering to myself.

Abby was not just starting Kindergarten. This was the official beginning of the end, a short skip and a jump to her final departure. In 13 years she would be going to college. Holy shit.

Could I make it to the car?

I called my Mom. I bawled. I gasped. I cried myself hoarse.

How did we get here?