Today was BB's first day of preschool - the first day of the rest of his life.
School, independently-developed friendships, social influences, character-developing and character-challenging relationships and events, clubs, sports, crushes, and eventually careers, love, marriage.....leaving his mother forever as he flies out of the nest into the big, wide world to live his own life.
I know, I know, kind of a jump, but that's what all of the emotion building up to this milestone felt like for me - if I could just keep him home forever, then he would need me and stay with me forever, and instead I'm leading him away, towards independence. You know, the natural progression of life that is healthy and appropriate.
Well, you will all be happy to know that after months of wistfulness and nervousness and extrapolation on my part (while BB excitedly awaited preschool to finally start), I only experienced a tiny bit of sadness when we dropped him off for his first ever day of school. I misted up a couple of times, but didn't shed any actual tears. Mostly, I was just excited for him to experience this new, much-anticipated world of school that he is so eager to partake in. J was much more shell-shocked than I was - which is just how we work. I anticipate and emotionally process far in advance, and J processes in the midst of events. So when we walked away from the classroom, I felt confident and peaceful, while J, after months of comforting and reassuring me, felt a bit hesitant and unsure.
And BB? He confidently walked into the classroom, found his backpack hook, and sat at the table to play with some blocks with his classmates.
I called him over for a hug and a kiss, and then he went right back to the table. I called his name and waved goodbye enthusiastically, and he glanced back at me with a quick lift of his arm, and went right back to building. He was ready, Mama. This is what he has been waiting for. He was fully engaged and didn't look up as we walked out the classroom door.
And when we picked him up, he was all smiles. He did tell me that he was "a wittle wown out".
My preschooler, ready for his first day of school ever
Our family on BB's first day of preschool
While I sign BB in each morning, he signs himself in by practicing writing his name
BB opted to outline his name instead of trace it
Auntie Seen surprised us and came to be our family photographer while we dropped BB off - so nice! SS loves his Neen.
BB with his teacher and on the playground after school, all smiles
And so it begins...