Separation is Hard

I like to think of myself as a pretty chill parent. I let my kids lead for the most part. We still set boundaries with our children, as you should in any relationship, but I don't have a lot of actual "rules", more like rituals. Anyway, because of the whole one less car issue, I made the executive decision to have Macy ride the bus to school for the rest of the year. She's changing school next year (for exciting reasons I'm sure I'll talk about some other time!) and we are required to drive her there. So this is clearly a 5ish week change. But my darling daughter is me to a tee. She resists change. When I mentioned to her that it was a real possibility, she was upset. We were walking home from school and she essentially raced away and walked home without me. I figured she needed time to process her feelings and wasn't surprised. We had a bus incident (I'm sure it'll come up here eventually) when she was in kindergarten that I had in the back of my mind to revisit so she doesn't have issues with independence in this area and karma intervened. Here we are, taking the bus. 
So we're confronting some past trauma for both of us. We're also making an unexpected change and not really by choice. We're cutting into the precious Macy/Mommy time we have each morning and both of us share Quality Time as our primary love language. And yet, once Daddy explained through the emotional haze that this was a necessary step for all of us (it's really the safest, best choice for the family with one vehicle right now) and that sometimes being in a family means doing things that we don't want to do. Personal sacrifice is part of community and that's an important lesson (one I'm still really wrestling with on the church level) to learn. 
Waiting patiently for me to return after a potty break.
20 minutes, people!
Once I realized that on top of feeling like there's too much change for her (new school next year and getting glasses) that Macy's primary concern was not having as much time with me, I determined that I would get up earlier and make her lunch the night before. Of course, we were ready way early and rather than read together, which I was fully expecting, Macy was ready to skip to the curb and wait for the bus for TWENTY minutes. That kid. This, she also gets from me. Once the change is determined, you face it with gusto. We chatted with the neighbor boys and got the skinny on where to sit (and apparently where NOT to sit. Bus politics have not changed, my friends) and I introduced her to the bus driver. 
Lots of roadside hugs
I came home feeling sad and relieved. This time is different. When you revisit something that was scary, the fears start talking and shame voices gain traction. Sadness or grief pay a visit. If you don't know the word for this type of experience, it's called "triggering." I'm mostly nostalgic that my little girl is growing up and I'm proud of myself for making a hard decision that's still the right one for the whole family. Sometimes my perfectionist brain thinks that what is best for the whole family might harm the individual (this is a theme for me from the trauma of our post-partum depression experience). And sometimes, that's true. But in this case, I believe this is also what's best for Macy. If we can still get her need for quality time met, she will gain confidence and independence through this that will help prepare her to change schools in the fall. I guess all of that is to say, it's okay that "normal" adjustments are hard for you. I know so many people who don't bat an eye at this type of change and probably think I'm silly for feeling all the feels. But I do. Perhaps because I have so many feelings, it has made me the right mom for the daughter who is just the same.