So preschool was off to a bit of a rocky start for our little Cole-man.
Fortunately, after those first few days of lots of tears and sad feelings, there finally came a day that Cole didn't cry when I dropped him off. And when I asked him our daily question, "How do you feel about school today?" that he replied, "HAPPY!". And he quickly made more and more friends, branching out and doing more and more activities.
It's been amazing to watch him grow and learn already, in just the first six weeks. It's also been a little bit surreal.
I mean, he's been my complete sidekick, my buddy, for over four years. He's hardly left my side. And now he's branching out, starting a whole little chapter of his life that doesn't involve us.
Some days, he'll come home from school and tell me something about his day, and I'll say, "Oh, is that the first time you did that?" and he'll say, "NO, MOM, WE DO THAT EVERY DAY AT PRESCHOOL!" and I had NO IDEA. It's super strange to all of a sudden have my child make decisions, do activities, interact with people - all without me there to be a part of it. He has a whole group of little friends I don't know except for a brief glance at their face. He spends six hours a week having fun doing activities I have no idea about. His behavior is monitored by adults I hardly know, and he is hugged and comforted by them as well if he falls down or misses his mama.
I'm not sure I fully understood the impact of this, when I was a teacher: the extreme trust it takes to place your child, your heart and soul, into the hands of another adult for six hours a day. It's the most difficult thing I could ever do, leaving my child with someone else and just hoping that he will be safe and happy and well-taken care of, mentally and physically.
But even though it's a little different feeling, it's extremely gratifying at the same time. After all, that's the whole point of parenting, isn't it? For my child to be successful, to create friendships and be involved in activities without me there coordinating? And while I miss him so much when he's gone, I absolutely love watching him create his own little friendships and seeing what draws him to each friend. Socially, it's amazing the transformation that my shy, hardly talking two year old has made into a talkative and almost outgoing four year old.
Next year, Cole will begin kindergarten - and his education journey will officially begin. I can't wait to see what else school has in store for my little man!