Just thinking about it all brings tears to my eyes and a million feelings I didn’t expect! But, as the title implies, tomorrow my baby enters this big world on his own two feet…tomorrow, my boy starts kindergarten.
Saying those words makes me think back. I think back to the months we waited for his arrival, to the long delivery that we never thought we’d get through…to the first time I held him and smelled him and cuddled with him. To milestones…to his first steps…to a funny dance he did over a gift at his first birthday party that had us rolling with tears…to the day he became a big brother and beamed brighter than any other time in his life. To his first soccer game.
I think of our times together…reading book after book because one is simply not enough. To his questions…to the million “why’s” and “how’s” and other engaging thoughts that show me how his intricate mind works. To the feel of his hair when it rubs against my face. To the way he smiles in his sleep, always cuddled with a stuffed animal, dreaming dreams I can’t imagine.
But now, it’s time for me to step back. To be there for him, but behind him…not right by his side as he takes those big boy steps into his new school.
I worry. Not because he is worried, because I can tell you with certainty that he is not. But, because I’m putting him into someone else’s care. The only people in the world that have watched him are his grandparents, two aunts, one uncle and Miss. Carol. That’s it. I can count them on one hand. These people have loved on him like no one else, but, kindergarten is different.
I want his teacher to see him for who he is…and after meeting her, I know she will! Not because he is “special,” but, because all students are special. I hope he listens and absorbs all there is to absorb and that he remembers his manners, his pleases, his thank yous, his hand raising and his turn waiting.
I hope the other students are kind to him. That they all want to be friends and that no one is excluded. That his “let’s be friends!” comments are met with “yesses” a games of tag and make believe. That his day is filled with laughter and adventure.
I hope his school is safe. I fear, deep down inside like every other parent, because of news stories and the scary world that we live in, that seems so much more scary when we are separated from our children and when they are left to their own devices.
I hope he thinks about me. Not that he misses me, but that he remembers how much I love him while we are apart and that he smiles because of it. That when he gets home, he’ll share with me about his day, about his new friends, about the craft he made, the books he’s read and the things he’s learned. I pray that if something hurts, he’ll share or if he needs a cuddle that he’ll remember that my lap is always open for him!
When my mind starts to roll, I think. I remember that children are a gift from God and that he’s given us the responsibility of raising them to be who he wants them to be, that they are a loan from him, designed for his purposes. I pray that he remembers what we’ve taught him and that we’ve raised him for this day, that he’s ready for the independence he’s about to encounter.
I cry, tears because I’ll miss him, but also because he’s so ready. And I know that’s a gift.
I know I’m not alone…that there are millions of other parents thinking the same thing, ready to send our babies out into this big world. I’m with you all in spirit. We can do this. We can take this first baby step in letting go. Here we go!
World…be kind to our babies!