Today was the last Monday morning of preschool for my four year old Savvy. The idea of the last beginning is hitting me harder than the actual ending of preschool. To say I have “mixed feelings” is, well, just a polite way of saying I have voices in my head, but thanks to the movie Inside Out, we’ve mostly normalized it.
Inside my brain:
“How exciting that Savvy will be in kindergarten!”
“Ah yes, yet another mile marker in this slow march toward certain death.”
“At least drop off and pick up will be so much more convenient next year.”
“Just because you don’t have a preschooler doesn’t make you old. You can still totally have another baby.”
“Shut up, why would you even say that? No one is even talking about that right now.”
“Remember when she was born? She’s going to be the most beautiful bride someday.”
“If she gets married.”
“Why wouldn’t she get married??”
“To spite you.”
“She won’t do that. She probably wouldn’t even turn you in if you were a drug lord. Avery would narc for sure though because she’d probably be a DEA agent. To spite you. Savvy would take over the business.”
“I would read this book.”
“Yeah I know. But do you ever think about those moms of serial killers? Like, DID they know their kids were capable of that?”
“They had to, right?”
*All in unison:* “Had to.”
The point is, I have two kids. Avery’s whole life is marked by firsts, and Savvy’s whole life is marked by lasts. And they are equally frightening and beautiful (the kids and the moments). We don’t often get to know our “lasts” as they happen. When we do, we have the opportunity to cherish and reflect, but we’re not spared from the sense of loss.
I once heard about the Portugese word “suadade” and it always stuck with me. I don’t think I fully understood it until I became a mother, but I think of it as constant wanting time to stop, reverse, fast forward; an ever-present humming you don’t notice until you listen for it.
I’ll leave you with this definition I found. Hopefully it will give you permission to take a break from all of your
crazy brain voices “mixed feelings.” Do something that relaxes you. I can recommend some great Netflix documentaries about drug lords and serial killers.
saudade: Portuguese the vague and constant desire for something that does not and sometimes cannot exist. The closest available word in English has been agreed on by linguists as “nostalgia.” But this is also agreed to be a very inadequate word to describe the feeling of a constant longing and almost yearning that persists in the back of your mind even when you turn your thoughts to other places. Nostalgia is also an inaccurate translation because saudade can be felt not just for things that you once had and have lost, but also for things you never had.