So the boy is off to preschool today.
Well technically he’s been there for an hour now.
It went surprisingly well, all things considered. I was remembering images from almost two decades ago, when my baby brother started school. He was so terrified, he was hanging on to the gate and refusing to let go. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with that with my boy, because I would have just broken down right there along with him. I guess he heard my prayers, because it couldn’t have been easier. He handed over his teddy without fuss, held his teacher’s hand and walked off with her.
Except for one fly in the ointment. Just as his teacher was reaching for his hand, he looked at me. He seemed to be saying “Who is this person? Why are you asking me to go with her?” When I said “That’s your teacher”, he went off without a second look or word, absolutely trusting my word that this completely new person would take care of him.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is my son. Pride.
But that look has left me sitting here at a Starbucks, crying like the sentimental fool that I am and wiping my tears away. Praying he’s ok, hoping he’s having fun and realizing this is the first in a long line of goodbyes. He will go to school, on trips, to college, to other continents. And I will be there at every instance being excited for him and with him, wishing him well, telling him to have fun and saying goodbye with a smile.
And after he’s left, I will wipe away the tears and miss my baby with an ache, deep in my heart and soul.
As I am missing him now.