There’s no turning back now. Alex had his first full day of preschool last Thursday. He also wore his big boy undies. It’s a whole new world for him; the first taste of institutional education (albeit watered down for the ordinary Elmo-addicted three-year-old), and the often exhilarating and disquieting world of bladder control. I didn’t cry that first day, because, to be honest, I assumed I would be getting a phone call before I reached the minivan, to tell me that he needed to be picked up. I could almost hear the conversation in my head on the way back to the car. “We are terribly sorry, Mrs. Bloyer, but neither Alex nor our teaching staff is ready for this giant leap.” And yet, the call never came. I arrived back at the pick-up time and peeked through the tiny rectangular window in the door. To my amazement, he was sitting quietly on the rug listening to the teacher and wearing…..(drumroll, please) the same pants in which I had left him. Granted, the moment we got back to the car, he looked up at me sheepishly and said, “Mom, I think I hear the pee.” Which is code for, “Sorry, but it’s too late.” Who cares!!!! I was so proud of him for making it through the whole class, that I was still hugging him and giving him high-fives as we changed into a fresh, dry pair of Scooby-Doo size 4 drawers. It seems only now as I look up and see that little boy in the picture with Drooper (a dog I carried around when I was little) stuffed in his tiny backpack, that I am feeling a bit emotional. He looks so very fragile, which is really funny, for any of you who have actually seen the damage that this gentle tornado can inflict, but still….how to protect him, and still let him be the little funnel cloud that he is. What a scary prospect this is…the whole growing up thing.
Last week cousin Mitchel, turned fourteen. It seems surreal to me that the sweet, round-faced, tow-headed blonde baby that I remember is now a tall, lanky fourteen-year-old with a bohemian mop of curls for hair and a centered goodness that is rare in anyone, let alone a teenager. I am sure it will feel like mere moments have passed when I see my boys reach those teen years, but right now I am trying to be here in the moment and appreciate all these tiny triumphs that make me feel like coach, cheerleader, teacher, and student all wrapped up in one.
Love to all, tiff