It’s never easy letting go

By Thomas Garcia: QCS staff writer

Marvin Reese Jr. is growing up. Maybe a little too fast, according to his mother.

Mandi Martinez of Logan said it won’t be easy sending her son to preschool for the first time on Monday.

“My biggest fear is him not getting along with the other children,” Martinez said. “I am glad that he is going to be learning and making new friends. But I cannot help but be nervous about letting him go.”

Martinez said it will be different without her son at home during the day. She said she might get more done but will notice that he is not there.

While she’s confident Marvin will be in good hands at school, she can’t help but worry.

“I don’t think you ever stop worrying about your baby,” Martinez said. “That is just part of being a mom.”

Dawn Bilbrey of Tucumcari shares Martinez’s feelings about letting go of her child.

In Bilbrey’s case her daughter Laci Dennis is not starting school — she has started her senior year at Tucumcari High School.

“Monday was extremely emotional for me,” Bilbrey said. “I cried when I woke her up for her last first day of high school.”

Bilbrey said she has a song she sings every year on the first day of school to her three children.

“Laci would put up her hands and beg me not to sing the song,” Bilbrey said with a laugh. “This time I held her hands and said this is the last time I get to sing this to you. Then I started crying.”

Bilbrey said she cannot imagine her house without Laci.

“I am very proud of her,” Bilbrey said. “My family and I have done all that we can to make her a strong, independent woman.”

Bilbrey said she has been working on teaching Laci financial responsibilities, such as paying bills, balancing a checkbook and budgeting money — skills she will need once she is on her own.

“This summer she spent time with me trying to learn how to cook her favorite meals,” Bilbrey said. “There is a part of me that would like to keep her in my house for a few more years.”

Although they are at opposite ends of the spectrum, Martinez and Bilbrey share many of the same concerns and hopes for their child.

“It has come full circle,” Bilbrey said. “Once again I am trusting my child to others just as I did on her first day of school all those years ago.