Leaving the Nest: My Big Girl is About to Start Preschool

Almost three years ago, my life was changed forever. My oldest daughter, Ella, came into the world, kicking my own world off of its very predictable axis and sending us on a new adventure. Me, not knowing what in the world I was doing {still don’t}, other than to love and cuddle and sing. Ella, knowing exactly what she was doing but not being able to appropriately communicate her needs as a 6 pound, 11-ounce little lady {she’s still working on this – toddler things!} woke up and let her voice be known as soon as she entered this planet. She has been on level ten ever since. Intense. Passionate. Caring. Loud. Beautiful. Free. And one speed: FAST!

When I met Ella, I knew she was special. As I grew to know her more and as I still get to know her more each day, I have learned that she is a big personality trapped in a tiny body, ready to take on the world. She is so many things that I am not and wish I could be: Brave. Unapologetic. Strong. I admire and love her for all who she is, even on our toughest days. Ella and Mommy

In a few short weeks, Ella starts preschool. Our family and close friends know what a big deal this is, especially for me. I chose to put a career on hold to be home with her for the first 21 months of her life, which were some of the most trying and special months of mine. Time that I will never regret having with her. Even since I have returned to work, I have been home with her save for two days a week with her grandparents. I have done my best to give her everything she needs during this time, which I know most importantly is love, and have also been excited to share new experiences with her by way of preschool. 

Ella and Mommy

I am excited. New people. New experiences. New learning opportunities. My big girl is growing before my eyes and spreading her little wings. 

I am uncertain. Have I exposed Ella enough to other kids for her to know to be gentle, take turns, and be patient?

I am nervous. Will Ella cry when I turn to leave after the first day, or run happily to play with the other kids?

Perhaps a worry that some Mamas of more spirited kids will understand and be able to speak to: How many calls home will I get? How will we approach this at home?

One special chapter is closing and another one is opening. I think of Mamas with kindergarteners, seniors, freshmen in college. Mamas with their kids going off to Bootcamp. Moving out of state for a new adventure. Getting married. Having babies of their own.

No matter which chapter we’re in, motherhood is a constant state of adapting, letting go, and letting our kids figure things out while at the same time hoping that the love you so intensely give is enough.

That the eyes we have given them are open and accepting to those around them who are different than they are. That their hands are gentle and ready to give hugs. That they will be able to comfort their sad and hurting peers, as well as cheer on those who may excel differently than them. 

Ella and Mommy

I am grateful for the time I’ve had with my Ella. I am grateful for how much more time I have with her. I know I will likely struggle more than she will in this new chapter, and hope this will shine light on all of the other new chapters to come.

Spread your wings and fly, baby girl. 
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Kylie grew up in Capac, a little rural town in the thumb of Michigan. She now resides in Oakland Township with her husband, Michael, and daughters, Ella and Clara. Prior to becoming a mother, Kylie completed a Bachelor of Science in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science/Pre-Health and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing Analytics, both at the University of Michigan. Her career is focused on improving the quality of healthcare in the most vulnerable populations of Michigan. The past few years have given the opportunity for the most challenging and rewarding role of her life: that of a mother. Kylie is passionate about spending time with her family and friends, endurance cycling and running, going to concerts at small venues, cooking fun and unique dishes with her husband, home improvement projects, playing classical piano, and the color orange. One of the most profound things she’s learned about becoming a mother is to love with all her heart, do the best she can, and try not to worry about the rest.

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