Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Your First Day of Preschool

Today, we got ready for your first day of preschool.  For the most part, it felt like any other day getting you ready for a place we've called "school" since you were a baby, but I walked around the house last night searching for ways to make it more real, more authentic for you.  I got your navy blue backpack out of the closet, took out the snow pants still tucked away from the winter, then scratched my head as I meandered around the house looking for something to put in it.  Finally, I stuck in a water bottle.  I scrubbed you extra good in your bath, brushed your teeth, and made sure you were tucked in bed early to get a good night's sleep before your big day.  I laid out your clothes, double-checked the daily schedule to make sure I had the drop-off time right, then crawled in bed myself and thanked God for my little boy who is growing up so fast.

This morning was a special one.  Instead of eating breakfast at home or at school, I took you for pancakes and bacon at Village Inn.  We talked about which centers you were going to try out today and sang Frozen songs while waiting for our food.  We got to school a little early and I snapped a few pictures of you by your school sign.  And then,  we walked in to see your class, made of both old and new friends, lined up by your new teachers.  I thought you would run up and stand in line confidently and casually like always, but you threw your arms around my leg and said you wanted me to go with you.  That was all it took today.  A little kiss, a little nudge, and a little reminder to "be a good friend," and "listen to your teachers."  And then you were off and I cried the entire way home.

Today, was a growing up day for both of us.  You are going to learn so much this year and we can't wait to see how you spread your wings as a pre-schooler.  We pray that you will learn more about Jesus and what it means to have a heart for him.  We pray you will meet new friends and learn new ways to be a good friend to everyone in your class.  We pray you will continue to develop your talents, to use your natural born leadership skills for the good, and to experience a few new challenges that will help you expand those ever important fruits - patience, kindness, and self-control.  Most of all, we just pray that you will feel love in little ways every day, show love through learning and exploring new things, and give love to those around you.  Be salt and light, little man.  You can do it.

As parents, the growing never stops.  A part of me felt like I was playing house last night and this morning, fully absorbing the little details that I used to dream about when I thought about being a mommy.  Combing your hair and cinching your backpack before heading out the door, holding your little hand and kissing your soft cheek as I dropped you off in that line, and organizing preschool folders and hanging first day pictures on the refrigerator, wondering what you're doing and counting down the minutes until I get to see you.  But there's this side to being your mom, a side I never dreamed up when I was rocking those baby dolls and feeding them with plastic bottles.  A side that feels so deeply this raw mix of emotions - of question and guilt, responsibility and urgency, helplessness and fulfillment, all wrapped up in this package of deep deep love and desire to do it right and raise you well.  Every day is new territory, and we just keep learning, just keep growing, and just keep loving.  It's a wonderful journey, being your mommy.

Here's to one more 'first.'  You rocked it.

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