I was picking Cydney up from school the other afternoon. As I walked into her door, I saw that the children were rehearsing a routine to “We Go Together” from Grease. That was the moment shit got real: I caught all of the fucking feels.
The closing of an era will occur in two weeks. This was the preschool my nephew attended. He was in the same class when a pregnant Timile and I moved to New York from Atlanta almost sic years ago. That seemed like yesterday and forever ago at the same time; now almost five feet tall and headed into fifth grade. Two years ago, I dropped Cydney off for her first day and holding the hand of her teacher, she introduced herself to the class as Elsa.
Here I am watching Cyd and these same kids singing “We’ll always be together.” They’re all going to be in different schools and most of them in the same district; but not Cydney. Yes, there will be new teachers and new friends. And still, there is something about moving on that makes us all sentimental.
Cydney has outgrown the school she is currently attending. I see my little girl on a daily basis, so it’s difficult to notice that she’s growing up. Slowly but surely, she’s evolving. Very seldom are there instances that hit me in the face and I realize “Man, she’s not that little person I held in one arm anymore.”
Moving forward is an amazing thing. I’m not one to do much reminiscing about the past. When you do that, you began to romanticize it. Fairly traumatic moments can either leave you stifled in a moment in time and afraid to move on or can become “The good ol’ days.”
I spoke with a deacon at my church who said to me that the key to my ability to continuously move forward is that I am always looking towards the future. He was right. If I’m looking back, it is almost always to give context to the present and prepare for tomorrow. I address shit and keep it moving. When feelings and moments creep out of my emotional memory because I am reminded of them, think about it, analyze, and think about how and what to do next. This isn’t an act of suppression. To be honest, I think this mindset has protected me and is one of the major contributing factors to my level of self-awareness.
I know there are going to be major milestones n Cydney’s life. And at each one of them, I am going to think about her mother. It’s almost impossible to not do so. I didn’t make my daughter on her own, so there would be no Cyd without her. It kind of sucks that almost every joyous occasion in my first child’s life will have a moment of bittersweet feelings and some semblance of sadness. But that’s life.
To keep it all the way one hundred, all of the “She’s watching down and would be proud” doesn’t make it any better. I know the words are meant as a means of comfort. It’s not really comforting. It’s more or less dismissive to the painful feeling. “Hey, look at the bright side,” without acknowledging the pain associated with it.
A little context: within the past five years, there isn’t a person that I have met that when they found out I have a daughter that doesn’t inquire about her mother. There isn’t a person that I have met in five years that literally hasn’t said the words “I’m sorry” to me. Imagine how much it sucks that at some point or another, every person you encounter and begin some sort dynamic with has started off apologizing or pitying you to some extent. That has been my life at least once a week for the second half of my twenties. It’s isolating. But it’s also not a norm that most people are used to and I am. At this point, the only kind of parenting that I know is that of a child without a mother. It’s all good, though…Cydney is truly her father’s child because she too makes jokes about it.
Today, I posted the picture of Cydney in her graduation cap and gown on social media. While I am proud of my girl and want to show her off, I do so because in many ways I feel as if I’m sharing her with people. Whether it’s because we’re friends in different places, Timile’s friends from college, or just people who have started following the blog, she a part of her belongs to a lot of people. On June 30, 2016, our girl is graduating from Pre-K.