One week from today, Fletcher starts kindergarten.
My mother is having no end of fun teasing me about this. The world is not going to end when he starts school, she tells me. It’s not like he is never coming home! And, of course, she is right.
The world as we know it is, in some ways, about to . . . . well, not end, but change. We are at a milestone. A pretty big one! I know from friends with older children that things move pretty quickly from here. One friend said that once they start going to school all day long, they might just as well be in 5th grade as 1st. My friend Nicole told me that when her son started kindergarten she could see him growing up, maturing, in front of her eyes. And this is a great thing. But it is a little bittersweet as well.
My mother, clearly not the weeping, emotional type like me, is fond of pointing out that this is our job as mothers – helping them grow up, helping them move on. This is, obviously, what needs to happen. But my mother has also told me that she spent a good bit of time, as I think many parents do, wishing away our childhood, thinking that things will be better when . . . when they are sleeping through the night . . . when they are potty trained . . . when they are in school full-time . . . She cautioned me when Fletcher was born to try and just enjoy the now.
And I have. I really, really have.
I’m not trying to stop time. I’m excited for what the future holds for all of us, and especially for Fletcher as he starts this next step. I’m not trying to stop time. I’m just taking a moment to pause, to acknowledge where we are, where we have been, and where we are going next.
And frankly, I see nothing wrong with that.
Call me sentimental if you must, I won’t argue. But to my mind it isn’t so much about sentimentality as it is just about paying attention, being aware. I’m taking a deep breath. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Maybe even a little worried. There are a lot of “unkowns” out there, and for the first time ever I won’t be there to hold his hand and make sure everything is OK. He doesn’t really need the hand holding anymore . . . but it would make me feel better.
My dear friend Lindsay, she of infinite wisdom of the “been there done that” variety, told me something a few years back that I keep holding onto. She said that each new stage, each step on the road, is so exciting and so much fun that you never really miss the steps that came before. She’s been right about that so far – as much as I adored my sweet, snuggly baby Fletcher, the big kid Fletcher he has grown into is way more fun to hang out with. I see no reason I shouldn’t expect that trend to continue. So . . . onward to kindergarten!
Seven days and counting . . .
(Just for the sake of nostalgia, here is a photo of Fletcher on his first day of preschool!)