Name: Rochelle Fritsch
Kids: Elementary school-aged daughter
Works: Fundraiser for IMPACT, a local nonprofit
Favorite thing about being a mom: Telling my daughter stories about Grandma Gee Gee and stuff that happened when I was a little girl, teaching my daughter important life lessons (manners) and watching her apply them
Least favorite thing about being a mom: Teaching my daughter important life lessons (bad choices lead to bad consequences) by being the "Enforcer"
Famous for: Being a karaoke queen and snorting when I laugh
Ah, the first day of school. Watching your heart walk away from you into a totally different environment and into someone else’s care. Even though GeeGee’s a fifth-grader now, it still tugs at my heartstrings and makes tears flow. But I wonder: the tears, the throat lump, the angst of letting go. Is it from selflessness? Or does it come from selfFULLness?
Here’s what I mean.
Jamie and I went to Jamaica for a weekend when GeeGee was a baby. We left her in the care of her more-than-capable Godmother...who had watched GeeGee every day since she was two months old upon my return to full-time work. Who had watched countless kids before Jamie and I even knew each other. So was I worried about GeeGee? Absolutely not. Was I worried about her Godmother’s abilities? Not in the least. I was worried about GeeGee not being with me. That it wasn’t me.
A couple of years later when we did a “trial” week of 3K at childcare, I rehearsed with GeeGee that we’d walk in, she’d hang her jacket, kiss me goodbye and that I’d leave for work and pick her up at the end of the day. So what happened? We got there, we walked in, she hung her jacket, kissed me goodbye…and then it was my turn. All I had to do was walk out the door and go to work. She had gone about her business making friends and settling in, but there I was stuck in the threshold like I was in a Freeze Tag game. “What will she do when she realizes I’m not there?
Because, after all, the sun moon stars and her entire well-being could only be protected, promoted and cultivated by me. I was the conductor of this train, and would give my heart, soul, vital organs and someone else’s first child to see that the train pulled up to the depot safely.
Geez, Rochelle...Control Freak, much? SelfFULL. But the tendency was there for all the right reasons, or at least that’s what I told myself back then.
I thought I had come to grips with the silliness of my selfFULL attitude until the other day when I was presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a weekend conference. Across the country. That old selfFULL voice popped up again “Oh sure, Jamie knows what to do…I think. Will he get her to bed on time? Dinner – oh gosh they’re going to live on frozen pizza and carrot sticks. And reading time – what about reading time while I’m gone? This is the fourth horseman of the apocalypse if ever there’s been one…”
After a conversation with my BFF and a couple of self-pinches later, it dawned on me that my misgivings weren’t about Jamie’s ability to handle things. I’d probably hem and haw about leaving even if Mary Poppins herself floated down on our lawn umbrella in hand. This was still about me and my ability – or rather disability - of letting go.
So I let go of the selfFULL me long enough to purchase airline tickets and register for the conference…although I’m not making any promises about not checking up on those two while I’m gone.