Another First Day
Illustration courtesy of chronicler/Shutterstock.com
To the Little Boy Who Made Me a Mom:
Yesterday, your Dad and I dropped you off at school for another first day. This is the fourth time that we have had to do this. It is not getting any easier. OK, it’s a little easier, but it still hurts.
I remember when we walked hand-in-hand-in hand into kindergarten together, the three of us. You tried to be brave because you knew this was what you needed to do. We tried to be brave too, smiling and supporting you with words of encouragement. And we did it. All three of us. You had an amazing day and we made it through the hours of worry until we could see you again and hear you say “It was awesome!” (Special thanks to the kindergarten teacher who knew to send pictures mid-day. Thank you, technology!)
Now that we have done this a few times we have traditions. We take your picture next to the school sign so we can see how much you have grown each year. You and your dad play "Bejeweled" in the car before getting out, because it’s fun and it keeps everyone’s mind off of what comes next. As you leave the car now, without us by your side, we are proud. You know your school. You know where to go and where to stand. You have friends waving and waiting for you in line. It’s a little easier, but I want you to know that every time I watch you walk away a little piece of my heart goes with you.
This is sort of what parenthood is all about. The long, slow separation between a parent and their child. When you were first born you needed us for everything. Our job has been to help you learn to stand on your own, both literally and figuratively. To need us less and less for things as you gain the ability to take care of yourself
It’s been so amazing to watch you grow and evolve into the young man you are now. Your shy, quiet smile has been replaced by a brighter and more confident one, followed by more ideas and thoughts of your own. We are watching you become the man you will be.
We are in a golden spot right now. You’re still little enough to hold our hand in the parking lot and to want cuddles before bed. At that same time, we are watching your personality emerge even stronger. You have opinions and wishes and things you want to do. It’s a joy to explore them with you.
It won’t ever be easy for us to watch you walk away towards something in your future, but you will always know that we are standing behind you, cheering and supporting you. We want you to have a beautiful life, and together, the three of us, we can handle anything. We have loved you since before we knew you. We don’t remember our lives before you joined us, and we don’t want to. You made me a mom and that, irrevocably, altered the trajectory of my life, in the best possible way.
Have a fun year at school. We know you’ll do great. And we can’t wait to see what the future holds…