...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

into infinity...

Last night, after a day filled with all the activities a child can pack into the last day of summer vacation, I sat across the kitchen counter from my five year old son and just took him in. When he settled on his stool and turned his sweaty red cheeks in my direction, I fell - as I always do - madly in love with him again.

"You know you're a kindergartner tomorrow, right?" I asked, reiterating what we've been talking to him about all summer. I asked more as a means of preparing myself for this reality than actually calming the nerves of this gorgeous boy who needs no more encouragement from us to be ready for this leap. He smiled, gave me the most perfect "my mom taught me this" eye roll and said "Yep."

"Yep," as in "I know I'm going to be a kindergartner and I don't know why you feel it necessary to keep telling me that, and furthermore, why do you look like you're going to cry every time you say it? Can't you see that's just madness, silly woman?"

He's so ready for this phase of his life. No more holding him completely back. No more allowing my unnecessary fear to shadow his growth. Today, I will walk my son to the corner, ask for a kiss and be happy to settle for a hug, and put him on a bus that will take him to his first day of kindergarten. Then, as the bus starts to pull away, I'll dash to the mini, race to the school, and be there to watch him disembark, find his teacher (who is also experiencing her first day as a kindergarten teacher), then his best little buddy (bets on who he searches out first!), and then settle in.

I've little doubt he'll settle in. He's no stranger to this school environment. Two years of preschool and an older brother who's guided the halls for him in the past quite nearly sets the stage for my youngest to be named student body president of the place by week's end. I'd so not put it past him! This boy is a showman. A pure entertainer. A master storyteller. I quite honestly wish I knew where he got these traits from, for if I could, I'd buy all of them and figure out how to make them work for me.

So while, truly, I'm not worried about how he'll do, I do hope that his father and I have given him all he needs to be ready for the world. I know we're not done teaching him, but the scope of his learning is now broader, and while I'm happy for that, sometimes the idea of releasing our role completely is hard. I want to think this will be a heartbreaking day for all of us, but honestly, I believe my husband and I will be the only ones feeling our hearts tighten as this boy who's charmed us from moment one turns away from us and begins this amazing new adventure.

He won't realize it, but I bet he'll find it freeing. Despite play dates and preschool and weekends with grandma, this little boy has been my constant companion for five years. As I free him, I'm not so sure I'll feel the same way (perhaps by Friday, though, when the reality sets in and I think of all that I can do now!).

The world has some pretty wonderful qualities. I hope we've shown him many of them. I know he's shown me many I'd forgotten, even in the midst of whatever frustration a child can bring about. And they can. I know. But now I'm trusting him with someone else, for longer stretches and with varying influences. I wish his teacher as much luck and patience as I wish all the kids in her charge these next 180 days.
During our conversation last night, we talked about how my son will ride the bus to and from school, where he'll stash his backpack and what he'll be doing during the entire day away from home. We bantered about the fun things he'll be doing and the amazing things he'll be learning. How he'll make new friends, have to always remember to listen to his teacher, and oh, yes, enjoy those three daily recesses. Every topic I brought up, he'd grow brighter and more excited. Eager. Ready. And, I think, reassuring. Truly, these conversations we've been having are more for me, I think, as I let yet another finger slip on the ever loosening grasp I have on this beautiful boy. He knows it, too.
He's so ready.

Me? I probably am, too, but I'm willing to admit I'd selfishly like to hold onto that last slipping finger of his childhood a little bit longer. Ultimately, I have to let go completely so my hands are free to applaud him. He's a showman, afterall, and I anticipate a wealth of rewards and successes he'll wish to share.


Blogger kimmyk said...

written like only a momma could.

no matter where you are in your stage of your life being a mother and remembering your childs first day of kindergarten, you know exactly what that mother is going through as she drops her child off that first day.

like an overwhelming sense of loss, but in a good way.

they grow up and eventually leave the nest...he's still young..and you have time. you are blessed. hugs. it's gonna be a rough day.

now if you'll excuse me i have two teenagers that need to get up and get ready for school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're definitely a good Mum, hands down little lady.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 6:42:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Nope. Pretend husbands, dolphins, what-have-you. . . they might light up your eyes, but nothing like yer boys do. . .

So it seems we have something in common, my dear - our youngest is also off to kindergarten this fall. Molly has not been home alone during the school day for 20 years; she's almost at loose ends, trying to figure out what to do with herself (easy there, dolphin-girl. . .) Sort of the first tremor of the empty nest. Trust me that this has kinda snuck up on us. . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

Awww..you're an awsome mom! Your boys are so cute, and boy do i know what you mean about those talks being more for your sake than for his. I remember them well. It goes by so fast, cherish it while you can and take loTs of pictures along the way...those photos will become the grasp you loose later on, when they've flown the nest completely.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger JamesMommy said...

Beautifully written. Beautiful picture (were you laying down to take that?). My heart twitches when I think about my baby heading off to school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

That gorgeous boy will do fine!

Don't let hime go completely, babies always need their momma's finger near. And, they will always be your babies, even as they have babies of their own. I say these things more to convince myself my sweet! Mwah!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

My youngest baby goes to kindergarden soon. This breaks my heart in so many ways. I'm getting older, so is he, so is everything around me. I wish I could hold on to him tighter but I'm so sure I could smother him at the same time. Hugs to you

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

You are an awesome mom....

Thursday, August 23, 2007 5:42:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

kimmy - As I write this on day 2 of kindergarten, I actually think this day is rougher on me...

I hear rumor of this tale that kids sleep when they are teenagers. I look forward to it. Alas, I imagine this will be the point in my life where I'll be able to exist with less sleep simply by virtue of having to rouse said sleeping teens! Life's cruel irony is not missed on me! Sharp as a tack, this girl!

Nocturnal - Thank you. Of course, a couple references on my resume may not immediately second that, but nobody's fired me from the Mum job yet.

Desmond - Maybe what it comes down to is I have a raging love of boys. Boys, boys, all kinds of boys!

Hope Molly survived her first day in this lengthy road to freedom well! I suppose you could always consider the possibility of even more to the brood, eh? Or maybe a couple random visitors here and there?

Stacie - Thanks! Somewhere along the route to reality, those kids picked up a couple cute genes. Freakin' adorable, they are! But wow, this time got here way, way too fast for me!

Jamesmommy - Thank you, too! Your heart definitely twitches, even when they get to be old hats at this routine! I actually wasn't laying down for that picture. He happened to be crouched down near our basement window well, looking at a bug or something, and I told him to freeze, ran inside, crouched near him, stuck my camera toting arm into the window well and shot up at him. First try. Sometimes you luck out!

Nan - Keep talking! I need the convincing, too. Of course, seeing as how we'll be family in about 24 years, we'll just keep assuring each other!

That Girl - As much as I love holding onto him and his brother tight, I have so, so loved seeing what they accomplish when I release the grip a little bit. They are amazing, and I'm sure your son is, too. What I watch them learn and enjoy only assures me that we're doing something right with them.

Savage - Thank you! But I'll ask the boys, see if they agree...

Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Molly reminds me that it's 20 years since 1F's first day of kindergarten; 25 years since she was alone during the day. . .

I suppose that God, divine Sense of Humor, and all, could bless us with another addition to the family rolls. 'Course, He's already played that joke on us a couple times (we thought this stuff was supposed to stop when she turned 40; ha, ha, silly us), tho, and I suspect He's off on the prowl for more entertaining marks. . .

As to random visitors, hey, stop in anytime. . .

Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Kindergarten. How I miss those days... Where is MY nap time? Where is MY recess?

If you get too bored during the day, you can give my wife a call. I'm sure she'd enjoy discussing Grease, kids, and BOOBS! with you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 3:04:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Desmond - There's a part of me that kinda wants to see God prowling around. I wonder what that would look like...

FTN - Really!? Because I do sorta need someone to talk to me about those things day to day. I talk to myself, of course, but even myself is getting kinda like "Geez, can we talk about boys or something? Laundry? Anything other than your BOOBS!?"

Then myself suggests I just email you, and I say, "Ok, soon. 'Cause I think secretly he likes discussing Grease and hot dogs with me."

Friday, August 24, 2007 12:28:00 PM  

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