When SuperBoy hit the streets for his first day of First Grade this year, I didn’t cry. It was bittersweet. I’m proud of the kid he is becoming…of how much he loves and looks forward to going to school…of what a smart kid he is. But let’s face it, its not like he was going off to college….or junior high or anything.
I’ve been enjoying the routine we’ve been getting into here at the house with the littles. They play very well together and putting them down for naps earlier in the day has opened up a time frame that allows me to get more work done…to find a better balance between home life and my need to create.
When he came home from school telling me he wanted to ride the bus home I was a little shocked. The bus drops off across the street from our house, but I had only given a fleeting thought to letting him ride. After some repeated
begging asking and seeing my first “Sitting in the Pick Up Lane” gas bill, we decided as a family that it would be okay if he rides the bus home each day.
But when I took him to school today and he got all antsy, wanting to go “hang out” until the door opens instead of sitting and talking in the van with me… it knocked the wind out of me. We got out and walked across the driveway, hand in hand as always. I noticed that he was a little fidgety and his hand, previously a vice grip, was very loose.
Can you hear the pieces of my heart shattering as they hit the floor?
Maybe you can hear the plop of my tears as they fall into the giant puddles I’ve created around my computer.
I literally had to let go.
My mom said, “This is what’s supposed to happen, you know. He’s happy, confident, and secure. Enjoy this progress!”
I said, “Bah, Humbug!”
But she’s right.
He still says, “I Love You Mom!” with a very decisive and clear voice when I leave him anywhere, followed by a huge hug.
We had a male babysitter, 16 years old, who said “I Love You” to his family members whenever he got off the phone with them. Every time. Even to his older, college aged brother. Good at school, social and an athlete…. I pointed this fact out to my kids every chance I got. I want to know his mother’s secret to how she surpassed that moment when admitting you love your family becomes uncool. I also pointed out to my kids how every time we took him home he grabbed the garbage can and rolled it into the garage, because it was there and needed to be done…not because someone was yelling at him to do it. But I digress…
Every day when he returns home from school we snuggle up on the couch and talk about his day. We go over his papers, he tells me how recess was, how much of his lunch he ate and how his classes were (in that order). He works on his homework while I get dinner ready and then I check it over for him.
I know that it is normal for him to grow up and become a big boy, more and more independent each day; I am still holding on to the hope that when he walks back through that door each night he will be my little boy.