I couldn’t fall asleep last night. At some point after I did, sometime in the dark of the night, BigBrother came into our room. “I can’t sleep.” I showed him back to his room. He was excited. I was nervous.
First grade? Really?
I opened his door quietly this morning, having forced myself out of bed to get ready and start working before it was time to wake him up for his first day of school. As he adjusts back into his school schedule, I adjust back into my school year work schedule. In the dark of his room, light barely peeking around the edges of his room darkening curtains, I crawled into his bed. Like me, he radiates heat and the warmth of his not-so-little body was calming. I ran a hand over his freshly cut hair, fuzzy and short. I scratched his back, and he finally cracked a little smile; he is his father’s soon. For another moment or so, we were quiet. And then we weren’t.
The morning began, and with cereal and teeth brushing and getting dressed and news watching (he is my son too), the morning continued. I apparently wasn’t moving fast enough. “Mommy, can you help me with my shoes so we can go outside and take my pictures.” I smiled; the child of a photographer knows the process of things.
And then we were off. I felt rushed, antsy, but we had more than enough time to follow him down the hall to his classroom, to settle him in, to wish him a good day. To leave him behind.
He doesn’t mind, of course. He loves school. He’s been singing, making up words about the new school year for the past few days; making my ears tired with the repetitive lyrics and tune. A new school this year, he knows some kids from our neighborhood, his old preschool, our old church. We saw a girl in his class who was at his old school last year and another with whom he shared one of his first “playdates” as a wee-one. He will make friends; he’s a good kid. I’d want to be his friend if I wasn’t his mom. But I worry too that children will be unkind, as children are, or that teachers won’t recognize him for who he is, for what he brings to the classroom. I put those fears aside as best I can, so I can smile at him and be his support.
Because I know he is THISEXCITED to go to school, to make new friends, to be the best version of himself that he can be.
And I am THATEXCITED for him.
Now excuse me while I go blow my nose; I have to go pick him up — with a smile — soon.