My lil' guy was so excited as we walked up the street to the school. He had been ready to go since he bounced out of bed earlier that morning. I on the other hand experienced a few tears at the prospect. They didnt' really take me by surprise & they were brief & proud of what a big little boy he is becoming.
Once we entered the school he started to show some apprehension. We were greeted at the door right away by a friendly & very loud woman. His answers to her questions were so quiet. Oh no I began to think. He doesn't want to be here. He is scared . But he followed her to the check in spot & quietly took it all in. The rooms, the various hallways, the other kiddos clinging on to their parents hands. If you knew him you would not be surprised that he took it all in quietly. That is how he rolls. When he was tiny we would venture out to new playgrounds & I had would have to hold myself back from pushing him forward to the toys. He would prefer to soak it all in from the edge of the wood chips, thank you very much. He did the same thing at the beach the first few
We got him checked in & made our way into a room filling with some kiddos his size. There were a few tables almost full & a couple of empty ones. He chose to sit at an empty table. He looked so tiny & so timid & so uncertain. I explained to him how his brother & I were going to go & was he ready to have an awesome day & see us later? "Not yet" came the quiet words. Punch me in the gut & hold back the tears, because that is what it felt like when his answer made it's way to my ears & my heart. So we looked at a book together for a moment until he spotted a friend he knew from preschool. I saw his face light up & knew he would be fine. He said bye with a quick glance & that was it. His brother & I came to the spot where we had parked the stroller & as he got situated in his seat w/his various transformers & decepticons (that is boy talk for toys) that had come along for the 2 block ride a teacher smiled at me. And.I.Lost.It. I said is it okay that I want to cry? She gave me the sweetest, it looks like this is your first time doing this smile, & proceeded to tell me of her own gushing experience with her little guy. I thanked her for her kindness & got out to the street & that was when the above mentioned train hit me.
I felt a sense of immediate & powerful loss. I had not expected it nor did I really understand it at that point. But, it was real & raw loss & I ached. My boy. My can-raise-my-blood-pressure-like-no-one- else-boy. My first born who has morning breath like a dragon, but I don't care because that is the only time he wants to cuddle boy. He was sitting in that building getting further & further behind me & that was where I knew he needed to be, but I couldn't see straight for how much it hurt to walk away from him.
The entire day I was an on & off again mess. By that I mean that I cried all day long. Later in the day he was talking about how awesome school was, how he wanted to stay forever & how he couldn't wait to go back. That made me cry too. Seriously? I know that is the best case scenario. I want him to like it. Right away. I don't want him to be sad or to miss me (doesn't look like that is going to be a problem), but it just tore me up inside to hear him going on & on about how great it was. He has been my buddy & companion for the last almost 6 years. We have done everything together. He was almost 3 when his little brother was born so there was a lot of time spent in that three years of togetherness. There are not very many memories I have in the last few years that he wasn't in. And here he is now planning on making a lot of new memories. Ones that I will not be in. I know he is ready, I know he needs the challenge & I know that for our family having him in public school kindergarten is the right decision.
I didn't' anticipate the loss nor could I have prepared for it. It is impossible to be totally prepared for something you have never experienced before. Just like have a baby. Or having a second. There is just no way to be totally prepared. My husband was kind of at a loss to know what to do with me. He suggested I phone a friend & talk it through with her. He didn't want to risk me getting mad at him, because he couldn't identify what I was going through (smart man). But, as I told him, just because it was unexpected & it feels so lousy right now doesn't mean it is wrong to feel this way. I just need to sit on it for a few & then I know that I will move on from it & get excited to go grocery shopping with just one kiddo or only have to pay for one childcare at the gym or get to be closer buddies with my other fella. But as far as today goes it is okay to be sad. To hold on to it a bit before the new season we are in starts to bloom.