September 4, 2007
dear wonder boy
Today, you started school at a new school, in a new grade. Full day kindergarten! I can hardly believe it. I was anxious, excited and nervous for you. The down pour of rain that nobody expected this morning didn't help my nerves either. I wasn't prepared to walk you to school getting soaking wet, heads down, tromping through the puddles. I pictured a sunny morning with photographs of you in front of the school smiling and standing in line with your new classmates. Everything seemed confusing and overwhelming and I was disappointed in the lack of preparedness. You, my beautiful boy, were quiet, seeming unsure of all the newness of the situation but confidant at the same time. I love that about you. Always so sure of yourself. I knew you would go in that class and knock 'em dead with your sense of humor and friendliness. I didn't cry. Although I kept feeling this knot of tightness that I wasn't sure what to do with. I felt a little shaky like I had just had a huge adrenaline rush.
Finally the teacher came out into the commons area and we all started to shuffle into the room. Daddy, your sisters and I sat you down at your desk . . . . . . then you quickly announced you had to use the bathroom. Seven minutes later, you were back at your desk. My first thought "Holy crap, we are we really doing this!?!?!" " You are really doing this!" My second thought "Man, I'm so proud of you!" I stepped out of the classroom, the last parent to leave as I snapped pictures of you looking so brave and handsome. And it was there. Right there at that very moment in time. Did you feel it too? Where I realized this is it. This is the exact moment where you start your long journey from being a boy to becoming a man. All those years of preschool and pre-k was just a dress rehearsal. It felt a little like I was being forced to let go when the teacher told me "I'm sorry, I have to close the door now" as if my job of getting you this point was done. I had dressed you warmly, helped you learn how to walk, fed you, cleaned up after you, taught you how to brush your teeth, made sure you got enough sleep, kissed your ouchies, reassured you when the thunder woke you up in the middle of the night and all those good and right things you do as a parent. Now you were flying off into a world all of your own. A world I will only get little glimpses of here and there when you fly home. This must be what a mama bird feels when her young fly out of her nest off to make nests of their own.
Now I cry typing this. All those emotions bubbling up to the surface I guess. These aren't tears of sadness or out of loss but because I'm so very happy you chose me to be your mom. All those moments I thought I was teaching you, you were, in fact, teaching me. You teach me patience (and believe me, I've needed a lot of patience) and curiosity and wonderment and acceptance and a love I never thought I could experience every single day. A love that fills me with joy. I will always be here, standing on the sidelines of the sports field or the wings of the theater, cheering you on. I hope, in this journey of life, you will fly home often especially when you need advice or support or even just a hot meal and a good, long hug. I know we have many years together before you enter manhood. Gawd, can you imagine? If I'm this emotional about kindergarten, what I'm going to be like when you leave for college. Just in case those years go by as fast as these past six years have gone by I want you know just how much I love you and how proud I am of you every single day.
Congratulations my little man!! You made it to kindergarten.
Good luck, I know you'll do great.