Three weeks from yesterday begins a new chapter in my family's life. Teddy will start kindergarten.
It's a day that I've alternately been looking forward to and dreading for the last several months. On the one hand, my little boy is growing up! He's taking the next step toward independence, He'll be making new friends, learning new things. He'll have so much to tell me when he gets home each day, after being away from me for almost 8 hours. He'll have somewhere to help expand his intelligence, to help stoke the fires of his creativity, five days a week. He won't quite be my baby any more.
On the other hand, my little boy is growing up. He's taking the next step toward independence. He'll learn just how much Mommy and Daddy don't know. He'll do things that I won't be there to witness. He'll be on his own to make it or break it. His heart will get broken, and I won't be nearby to help mend it with a kiss. He'll be part of a larger microcosm than his small PDO classroom and his home. He won't quite be my baby any more.
There's a part of me that is anxious for this day to come. I want to know who his kindergarten teacher is going to be so I can read about her on the school's website and tell Teddy all about her. I want to get his supply list so he and I can go out shopping for some of the things that he'll need. I want to bring him to school the first day, meet his teacher, kiss him on the cheek and tell him how proud I am of him. I want to take him on a bus ride so when his next day of school comes and he'll be taking the bus, it won't be something unfamiliar to him. I want to watch him take this next step, to be able to squeeze his hand a moment before that step is taken.
But another part of me wants to stop time and never let the summer end. Next Friday will be his last day of PDO ever. None of his friends from PDO will be attending the same school that he'll be at, so I know that it will be a completely new experience for him. He'll be starting from scratch, new friends, new classroom, new teacher. I won't be able to ease all of his fears because it's new territory for me, too. Not only have schools changed so much in the 32 years since I first set foot in a classroom, but I'm looking at the difference between a small-town school with two kindergarten classrooms of 15 kids each to the largest school in the district with 10 classes of 20 kids each. I can't tell him what to expect, because I don't know what to expect. Not everyone will understand my child. He's a sensitive soul with a weird sense of humor and a complete lack of patience. And I know this can bother some people. He's so like me in a lot of ways, and that worries me too. Like me, he is a bit heavier. Like me, he wears glasses. Like me, he's smart and doesn't always know when to keep those smarts hidden. Like me, he's sensitive and has a heart that can easily break. And I don't want him going through the heartache I did as a kid. It worries me that he might. And as much as I want to be there to ease any hurt he may have, I won't be able to be. All I'll be able to do is squeeze his hand and let him take that step away from me.
I'm looking forward to Teddy being in school because of the changes in my own life. For the first time, Pete and I will have a lot of Mommy/Peter time. For the first 2 1/2 years of Teddy's life, it was just him and I during the day. I got to focus more time on him, help encourage him with the things that he enjoyed. I haven't had that time with Pete because it's always been me and the boys. I don't regret that time, but I am looking forward to seeing what kind of relationship Pete and I will have when we can have a lot of one on one time.
At the same time, I am worried about Teddy being in school because of these changes. Peter adores his older brother. For all that they fight (sometimes with Teddy's instigation, sometimes with Pete's), Peter doesn't want to be anywhere without his older brother. When Teddy was at Vacation Bible School through our church (the one that Pete was too little to go to), Peter cried every night when we dropped Teddy off at the church. On days when Teddy's been sick and had to stay home from PDO, Peter screamed and cried when he was left at PDO by himself. I worry that Bubbie will be inconsolable without his Tee-dore. I know that he'll get over it soon, but I hate to see my boys hurting like that.
Three weeks seems like forever.
Three weeks comes to soon.
Three weeks until things change.
For better. For worse.