Tomorrow is the first day of school. Tomorrow I will send My Sunshine, my son, my firstborn living, to kindergarten and I am a mess. It may be all the crying but I could swear I can physically feel my heart breaking a little. I know that sounds dramatic but he is my heart and I’m going to miss him. I’m going to miss so much.
The Christmas he was born was 13 months after we lost his brother. The first thing I said when I saw him was “Is he breathing?” and I feel like I’ve been checking on him ever since. I couldn’t believe he was alive and each time the nurses would take him, I would make them promise to give him right back. I would hardly let anyone hold him and I held him all the time. All.the.time. And I loved it. I never put him down.
His first year was one of the hardest years of my life. He would barely eat, so we nursed around the clock. I never slept, I was scary exhausted most of the time. I made a lot of mistakes, I was in a lot of pain and I have no idea what happen in the world during that year. But I do remember his baby face looking up at me while I rocked him. I remember his first smile, the night he found his tongue, the first time he clapped his little hands and how he would hold my cheek when he nursed. I still remember how he felt sleeping soundly on my chest.
People always told me how fast the years would pass and although no amount of moments would ever be enough for me, I remember nearly every one of his. I joke that I was awake for them all. That’s only a slight exaggeration. They call the first 3 months of a child’s life the 4th trimester and that it isn’t until after that when babies realize that they are separate from their mothers. I think our 4th trimester lasted 3 years.
I have always stayed at home with him, so we have been playing together for the last 5 and half years. The first 3 years, I just followed him around. Witnessing him explore and discover the world was surprising and fulfilling in the simplest, most beautiful way.
We’ve spent our days playing in the sprinkler, going on play dates, having water balloon fights, raising our little farm, watching cartoons, baking cookies, dancing on the kitchen counters and sleeping in. We have long talks and longer snuggles. On our terms, in our time and it has been perfection. These have been the best 5 and a half years of my life and I feel so blessed to have spent this time with him.
When his sister came along, we struggled. I thought he would never forgive me. I remember asking the doctor how long he could go on being mad about it. It was hard for him to share me. It was a huge adjustment and I had to make sure our relationship was still nourished and honored. And even with him in the same house, I missed him. This last year he came around and he, his sister and I have become the best of friends.
And now it’s time to send him to kindergarten and I can’t help but feel like our era is coming to an end. For the first time in his life, I won’t be able to check on him. I won’t know how he’s doing or what he’s doing. I won’t know if he’s happy or sad or be there to hear the funny things he says. I won’t get to see his face light up when he finds the green jello I packed in his lunch or hear the excitement in his voice when he recognizes the letters he knows. For the first time, I won’t be there.
I never thought he would ever let me leave him with anyone, he always cried so much when I dropped him off anywhere. Everyone told me that when he stopped crying when I left, that I would be sad. That was never the case. Ever. I never wanted him to miss me or be sad. I was thrilled when he finally believed I would always come back.
He did go to a Mother’s Day Out program and we loved it. It was barely half a day down the street, a few days a week and it was a good fit. He got to socialize and learn, I ran a few errands and then it was time to pick him up. It was optional. It was on our terms and we made it work for us. This is different.
I know we will adjust to this new life. I know he will thrive in kindergarten and grow and learn just as he should. I know eventually my tears will dry up, the days will fly by and I will enjoy my one on one time with his little sister. I know one day we might become morning people and stop throwing things at his new Batman alarm clock. I know I will love things about this new era and he will too.
As with so many things with this motherhood gig, this milestone is bittersweet. I am so proud of the boy he is becoming. I am so impressed with how kind, smart and witty he is. And I am excited that tomorrow he will start a new adventure in his life, independently. I don’t want to hold him back. I want him to run full speed ahead. I just don’t wanna miss it.
If you are following me on Instagram, you know tonight we read The Kissing Hand. It is the sweetest book to read to any child starting school or preschool. I’m praying for all the teachers, mamas and kiddos going back to school this month and especially for the first timers.