In a few weeks, my first baby will start preschool. In some ways, it has been a long time coming, but in other ways I can't believe it. I have been so excited for him to start preschool....being a November baby, he's been three for a while now, but wasn't old enough to start last year. He is so ready, and I think it's going to be very good for him. I think it will also be good for our relationship...like any three year old, he is very strong-willed, and being home this last year, we have butted heads on a regular basis. Having a break from one another a couple mornings a week will probably be good for us.
But, as the actual start of school draws near, the excitement is morphing into something else. Something that makes me really close to tears every time I think about it. It's the end of his babyhood. It's the end of that time together that everyone says goes so fast. The end of the really, really difficult time that everyone told me to appreciate while it lasted....and many days I haven't appreciated it. And now I'm sorry for that. Yes, I realize he'll only be gone for three hours, two days a week. But it's the beginning of the end.
School means new friends, new independence, new skills....but it also means new insecurities, hurt feelings, injustices, and hard lessons. Things that will break my heart because they break his. I know that this is how kids learn, and that we all went through it, but I dread it. I dread feeling that hurt for my kids. I hope I can make through all that without punching some kid for messing with mine (kidding....kind of). I hope I can teach Connor how to make it through all that without making my anxieties rub off on him. I hope I can love him so much he'll have confidence and security no matter what happens at school.
I am so proud of you. You surprised us by coming six weeks early, and haven't stop surprising us ever since. You surprise us with your humor, compassion, and unbelievable vocabulary. The way you comprehend and process things is far beyond that of a three-year old. You hold me accountable for my actions the way I hold you accountable for yours. You have been my greatest teacher and best buddy. I am sorry for the times I didn't appreciate every second I've gotten to spend at home with you. I know you will do so well at preschool. Your teachers and classmates will be so lucky to have a character like you in their class. I can't wait to watch you learn and grow even more, but I also want you to stay my baby forever. Don't leave your mama, okay? I love you whole world, big boy.