Friday, September 6, 2013

A New Beginning

And just like that, my little boy is off to his first day of preschool.

Off to learn and grow and become more of who he will be in life. Off to, step-by-step, become a more separate individual, someone apart from me and his dad. This is all good, I know...but it's a bittersweet breaking away that makes me stop and say, "Hey wait...that's my boy, getting so big!" When you carry someone in your body and birth them and watch them grow from a helpless baby who can do nothing to a little person who can talk, reason, remember, imagine, connect, and play it's an amazing step to send them out into the world - albeit a safe, small preschool world. I already have a lump in my throat just thinking of what the first day of kindergarten will be like.
I'm sure I'll enjoy my 3 hours, two days a week spending some one-on-one time with Hazel (much deserved on her part!), but I can't help but miss my sweet boy already. It's an exciting and new beginning that I'm grateful for for him to learn and meet people, and to digest what it is to be a part of a group, listen to a teacher, and learn to play with his peers. It's also an ending to our smaller world filled with just his family and close friends. It is a wonderful thing to learn from others, to learn to trust his neighbors, and to learn more about the world around him near and far...and we're blessed to give him this opportunity.
I'm told that a group of three-year-olds begin their preschool year as a pack of wild animals, and that when they leave for the summer they're a completely different group...more like a pack of tamed animals perhaps. A friend of mine's mom has lived by the philosophy that "every stage gets better," when it comes to kids and that's something I've been trying to stay rooted in, instead of focusing too much on what has been or what is "lost." Going off to preschool is a big first step though, among many steps to come, so it's hard to not be nostalgic for this ending. An ending of his baby-hood; the beginning of the ending of his "wild animal," unschooled-ness. Look at those name-tags, it's killing me!

I look forward to the confidence he'll gain in is own self, in meeting people, in listening to directions, in accomplishing tasks that may seem simple to us but are fundamental in cultivating a little person's identity in life. And so begins this year of discovery, socialization, and wonder.

Go get 'em, Soy're a stud and a stand-up guy!