Yesterday was Toby's first day of pre-K! I know I just sound like a broken record here, but we were all so excited. School has been all he could talk about ever since we went to enroll him back in April. Each day started with an excited question: "Is today the day I go to school, Mom?" Sure, it was a bit exhausting sometimes (the whole "time stamp" mindset is still a little bit lost on him. I mean, he is only 4 afterall) but I think we were all ready to pack up his bag and send him on his merry way. This morning came so quickly. 6:30am and we were all rolling out of bed. Yow! I guess those days are officially here... Sign me up for the Early Risers (Against My Will) Club. He had a full on case of bedhead but that didn't stop him from shimmying on his shoes and tossing on his backpack to head out. We had to snap a few "first day" photos like every other parent in the world. Once we walked him to his classroom and signed him in, he was totally unattached. He barely took a second to give us hugs goodbye! He was so enchanted by his class' "Morning Boxes" and the other children running around the room. We kissed his head and said our goodbyes. There it was... he was at school!
On more than one occasion I've thought about what life would be like once my kiddos' first day of school came. Would I be that parent that couldn't let go? Would I cry in front of everyone? Would my kid be equally as attached? Would (s)he scream and cry and miss me all day? It couldn't have been more different. Sure, it was a little bittersweet to see him feel so "grown up," but at the same time it was so rewarding. Kind of like a figurative pat on the back. "You're doing something right!" Ya know what I mean? I know we're raising an independent little dude, and I love that about him. But sometimes those random "I love you, Dad (/Mom)" hugs and snuggles when they're feeling under the weather sort of give your life purpose in a weird way. I think everyone likes to feel needed... it doesn't matter who. Now I'm rambling, but whatever.
Mike and I pulled back into the driveway at 7:45am. Seven forty-five! In the morning! I was dressed. I had on (a very tiny bit of) makeup. I was awake! (That was the real doozy!) We sat down in the living room and just looked around. I think after a few minutes we just looked at each other and said "Well, no what?" (Actually, that's not entirely true. Mike spilled an entire mug of coffee on my Xterra's radio on our way home, so I actually sulked into the house without saying anything as to allow myself time to "get over it" ha - It's all good though! He took out a fuse, let it dry out, and now it's good as new. Phew! I didn't stay mad long.) 8:30 came around. Then 9:30. Then 10:30. Then we decided we wanted breakfast, so we ate. Then 11:30. And so and so on. We did nothing! Like, literally nothing all day. We were just so... confused? Maybe that's the wrong word to use, but after 18 months of having him at home with us all day long, it felt so weird to sit in silence. We didn't have to formulate ways to channel his energy when we had things to do. We didn't have to ask him to shut his door because he was playing loudly. It was just quiet. I think we needed yesterday so we could just start to process it all.
Anyone who doesn't have kids might just side-eye me and think I'm being overdramatic and waxing poetic about his first day. And maybe I am. But it's such a special time for our little family. Knowing that we're able to keep a kid alive (ha!) and teach him enough to make him feel confident and comfortable in a school environment. We've managed to mold him into someone who doesn't believe in strangers (they're just friends he hasn't met yet). I think a childlike approach to life (love, learning, friends, etc) is what we all need. Sometimes I think making friends as an adult is too hard... but maybe we're just overcomplicating things. That's a conversation for another time.
We picked him up from school just a few minutes after 2:30 yesterday. He was waking up from his nap, except he didn't sleep at all... Instead of spending the hour of naptime napping, he chatted up a little girl on the mat next to him. We walked to the car, talked about all of his new friends and what he did at recess. He told us about his breakfast and lunch, and showed us his raccoon puppet that he made out of a brown sandwich bag and construction paper. We made sure to write the date on the back of his puppet because I know I want to have that little memento forever. Before we know it he's going to be graduating high school and moving on to bigger and better things. Well, last night he said that he never wants to move away. He wants to live with us in our house forever because if he moves away he won't be our son anymore. We quickly explained to him differently, but he wasn't having it. I'll just let him think he'll live with us forever (for now)... but we all know he'll be fighting to get out before we're ready. One day at a time...
Today's lesson in parenting: time flies.
PS; Isn't his shark backpack the most adorable ever? (It was the one I used when I lived in NYC) He says he had the coolest backpack in his class, and all of his "friends thought it was a real shark and it was going to eat them." How precious are 4 year olds?! (You can get this backpack online, btw!)
PPS; Maybe this will be a new series/feature every once in a while. Maybe it won't. I never know what will stick. But I like talking about Toby here... even if we're the only ones who read it. I know I'll cherish these moments down the road.