Here we are… the day before Oliver starts primary.
I think this must be the definition of mixed feelings. I am excited for him – to meet new friends, to be riding the bus, to be surrounded by kids and learning so much – and I know that the teachers are prepared to help him adjust. But for days now my stomach has been filled with anxiety.
I ran into a friend last week whose son is also starting kindergarten and, among the commiserating, she said, “They’ll be fine. They’re ready”. I don’t think she noticed but I had this panic-stricken moment moment when I thought, “Oh my god. Is he ready?”.
Will he wash his hands? Will he eat all of his lunch at recess time? He can’t tie his shoes yet! Will he sit all alone on the school bus every day? Is he going to ask to go to the bathroom in time? If he makes it, will he pee on the seat? Will he wander into the woods unnoticed at recess time?
And let’s assume he makes it home with clean hands and tied shoes. Will he tell me what he has done all day – who he played with, if someone was mean to him, whether he raised his hand to answer questions or not?
It’s hard to let go. For over five years, even when I wasn’t home with him, I have known what his day has looked like – what was for lunch, who he played with, etc. Tomorrow, all that changes – not only will my heart be walking outside of my body, but it will be walking outside of my body alone. And what I will know about his day is what he will choose to tell me. God, I hope he wants to tell me everything.
Whether I am ready for it or not, when he steps on the bus tomorrow morning he starts on a new road of independence. And it’s important for him to take that road. I just need to trust him, trust that we have prepared him, trust that he can handle it, and trust that he will tell me when he can’t and needs help with something.
In a month or two, I’m sure this whole school thing will be routine and seem like no big deal. But for now, for today and tomorrow, it is a big deal. A really big deal. But for him, I need to let go. He’s ready.
Can someone please remind me of that when I am bawling as the bus pulls away?
Today we went for a special “date”, just him and I. Maybe this will be our back-to-school tradition. We went to (where else?) “Old McDonald’s” for something to eat and then to the library for some new books.
I wanted a nice picture of the two of us. This is as close as we got…
… but it all ended in this so mission accomplished.
I love him.