My little boy is all growed up.
Captain Picklepants had his first day of school today. Granted, he is in his second year of preschool, repeating the four-year-old program. His birthday is in late December, so after lengthy discussion (about 4 1/2 years worth), we decided to delay kindergarten until next September. So, he goes to the same school as last year, but across the hall and with a different teacher. Two and a half hours, three days a week.
Still, another milestone, another transition, and if you know me by now, you know I was wiping away tears. I'm wallowing in it.
After I left him, of course. No need to inflict trauma on him on the first day. I'll wait until Friday to inflict the trauma.
I can't imagine how I'm going to feel next year when I put him on the bus the first day. I'll be inconsolable. Or when I bring Squishy to preschool two years from now. My babies are growing up and there's not a thing I can do about it.
I always knew I wouldn't handle this well. In fact, I used to imagine what it would be like to send my children off to school, and in each scenario, there were tears, hugs, and me feeling sad and looking forward to the end of the day (or in this case, lunchtime).
But I never envisioned this big, gaping hole I feel in the pit of my stomach while he's gone. This empty feeling that will only be filled again when he's home, chattering on about his day: the guinea pig that was in the classroom when he got there, what they talked about at circle time, the kids he met. We had a long summer, and many times I wished he had more to fill up his days, to occupy his time, to stop asking so many questions!
I know someday though, I will wish with every fiber of my being that the two of us were in the back yard, quietly examining a caterpillar on his swingset, talking about what it'll look like when it turns into a butterfly.
I've bought a little time, an extra year. We did it for educational and developmental reasons, giving him a bit of a security blanket when it comes time for him to figure out calculus, girls, and peer pressure. Now, though, I feel like it's just as much for me as for him. An extra year before I have to bring him to his first high school dance. An extra year before I have to drive him to some picturesque college campus in full fall foliage mode. And more importantly, I get one more year before I have to put him on that bus, headed a mile up the street to another milestone called Kindergarten.
But for now, I get fluffernutter sandwiches and his little face, all lit up, as he tells me about Socrates the guinea pig.
I can't wait until lunchtime.