This is not a time for sentimentality. You have been going to “schools” for several years now. Parents’ Day Out at church, “Friday school” at another church, Bible School, Zoo Camp, Pre-K… You completely bypassed the separation anxiety phase. You have never clung on to me, as much as I have wanted you to sometimes.
So tomorrow really won’t be that big of a deal. For you.
You don’t realize the finality of it all. But I see a page turning and a chapter ending. A chapter that I’d prefer to read and re-read again and again.
So yeah, I’m a bit sentimental. For me. For the You and Me that we have had for these five years.
Now I’ll be sharing you even more than before. And we’ll be in this new dance for the next many years. And after that? You’ll totally fly from this Hawks Nest. So yeah, I’m now tearing up at the thought of my five year old becoming a man and getting a job and a house and a family of his own. Damn you, Kindergarten!
I met your teacher yesterday for the first time. I wanted to sit her down, look her in the eyes, and tell her everything about you. That you are a hugger. That you like the sound of your own shouting a little too much. That you are a rockstar obsessed with guitars and I want to encourage that while also not encouraging it to the point of hosting heavy metal concerts in my garage. I wanted to tell her that you eat your lunch very slowly and it worries me that you aren’t getting enough nutrients because you just can’t eat on someone else’s arbitrary schedule. I wanted to tell her that you may be ambidextrous. That you are a perfectionist who does not want to do something unless you know you will succeed at it. That you love Legos but hate coloring. That you may want to have more control of the class than she does. That you need to know how serious she is about the rules and boundaries right from the start or else you’ll show her your way around them.
I wanted to tell her that I’d be watching her and she’d better not mess this up.
But I had about two minutes with her, in which I had enough time to find out whether you should bring your own milk for lunch or buy it at school. I could feel stares from some of the other parents waiting for their turn. And I had to walk away without telling her about all your awesomeness.
Tomorrow’s going to be just fine. And so will the day after that and the month after next and the year after this and on and on. We’ll be just fine.
And after I drop you off for your first day, I’ll drive to work like any other Wednesday. But on this Wednesday I may be swallowing a lump in my throat while at the same time looking forward to what this year has in store. For you. And for me.