Alex has discovered the shower. That is not to say he chooses one every time. There is a great advantage to the landscape and play potential in a bath, but he now sees the allure of the shower. How did I get here? David Byrne is so right. I am completely at a loss to understand how it was just moments ago that I was holding a tiny, warm, peeing dark-haired puppy in the palm of my hand. Now he is taking showers and handling it all in super-hero fashion.
He will be entering Kindergarten in September and if he maintains the independence that he has thus far exhibited, he will be just fine. I, on the other hand, will be walking away from the classroom holding tightly to Sam’s hand and crying like a lunatic. It is our goal, right? We strive to create these miniature beings who are strong and independent. We want them to walk away from us, excited for what comes next. We want to help create little people that don’t cling or whine or throw tantrums. Having said that, I find it bittersweet that Alex is about to graduate preschool. He will be entering into the vast and sometimes judgmental world of public education. I hope he will retain his colors. His favorite shirt is his rainbow shirt, and his favorite sweater is the rainbow sweater that Nana and Opa gave him. I want him to excel, but know that he can still show all of his true colors. I want him to be able to follow directions and plan for three square meals a day, but still be open to the idea that every so often it is okay to have a s’more at two in the afternoon or wear that rainbow sweater with shorts and sandals.
I think my own eccentricities (yep, those things that drive Chris nuts) can actually help my kids to know that they can choose to vary their path. They don’t always need to follow directly behind the lemming that precedes them. Of course, this also means that occasionally THEY will be the one at the front of the pack that chooses poorly by base-jumping, organizing a protest, getting a tattoo, or worse—dating someone with a tattoo. But at least it will be their own original production. They will be able to claim all the credit for their poor judgment. And with any luck, they will also reap the rewards of a positive learning curve by choosing differently when next they are confronted with another gloriously tempting menu of really bad ideas.