Monday, September 8, 2014

First Day of School: The Details

Dear Cole,

Last week, you had first day of school.  You've been looking forward to this day for weeks, ever since we first visited preschools to choose which one was YOUR preschool.

You're so ready for this, my son.  Last year when Daddy and I first discussed preschool, you would tell me, "I'M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT, MOM.  MAYBE NEXT YEAR."  You weren't ready then, but you are so ready now.  I'm so glad we waited.

All weekend leading up to your first day, you asked me constantly when you were going to school.  The night before you could barely sleep from excitement.  And the morning of, you came running into our room announcing, "IT'S MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, MOM!". 

After breakfast and a million photos commemorating this exciting event, you climbed into the car, "I DON'T WANT TO BE LATE ON MY FIRST DAY!"

We arrived at your school and parked, and you were so excited you wiggled your whole body and squealed in anticipation.  You waited patiently while I got Chase out of his car seat, then you confidently led the way down the path into the building.  I'll never forget the sight of you leading the way, feeling so grownup with your backpack on and your new lunchbox in hand.

You marched right into your new classroom and hung your backpack on your hook.  Once you saw all the kids, you felt a little nervous, and you clung to my hand while you took in your surroundings.  But when I suggested we go outside to play, your face lit up!  "YES! LET'S GO OUTSIDE!"

It wasn't long before you jumped right in with the other kids and started playing in the sand and water.  I watched for a minute, just to make sure you were sufficiently absorbed, then told you I was leaving in one minute.  When it was time for me to go, I gave you a hug and told you I loved you - but you barely paid me any attention, you were so eager to join back in with the other kids playing. 

Chase and I walked out the door (I snuck a few backward glances to make sure you were really and truly fine - you didn't give me a second look!) and we were on our way.

I held it together until I got in the car and glanced in my rearview mirror at your empty car seat.  And then it really hit me - the first major step in your growing independence, the first experience you will have without me there to be completely a part of it.  It's so exciting and so bittersweet at the same time.  I've said it over and over: the best indication for me to know that I have succeeded in raising you is you not needing me anymore.  That's the end goal.  But gosh, it sure is hard to take those steps in that direction sometimes!

When I picked you up, your face lit up to see me walking in the door.  You were so worn out and tired you didn't have too much to say, but as the day went on you trickled out bits and pieces of your day. 

Most importantly, when I asked you if you had fun, you answered with an emphatic "YES!".  I'll miss you, my darling boy, but I'm so glad you have this opportunity for growth and learning - and most importantly, fun.

To the start of your educational career: cheers!

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