Monday, September 2, 2013

Gradual Entry, Gradual Letting Go

Tomorrow is O's first day of kindergarten. I'm hoping that since I had some tears already today, that I will be dry-eyed tomorrow and not embarrass him too severely on his first foray into public education. I thought I was crying about feeling overwhelmed about finding a balance between remedying my relentlessly messy house and spending quality time with the boys, which sounds silly except that I know most of you have been there too. I thought that my momentary complete exasperation with fending off endless requests, mediating arguments, and supervising time-outs while trying to clean the upstairs bathroom for the first time in an unmentionably long time had pushed me to the brink. That was, until my husband saw me brushing away some tears and said "You're thinking about tomorrow, aren't you."

And he was right, even if I wasn't consciously aware of it at the time that the errant tears departed my tear ducts against my will. I remember when O was about three years old, and some of my friends were getting ready to send their first born children to kindergarten. Away from the ears of said children, these friends admitted that they couldn't wait to have some freedom. At the time, I couldn't imagine being glad to have O be away from me for half of his waking hours almost every day, but these friends insisted that I would be ready when it was his turn. Well, I've got about twelve hours left for that prediction to prove true! I know that little brother T will benefit from some more one-on-one attention, so that is my chosen beacon of hope in my sea of melodramatic despondency. Maybe we can comfort each other in our bereft state of O-lonliness.

Thankfully, he will start kindergarten with a "gradual entry" over the next couple of weeks, and I can't help but think that it is the beginning of my gradual "letting go." All precious things in life are a gift; some of them are so fleeting. Being able to spend my days with O for the last five years has been one of the great privileges of my life; I want to be greedy and hit the pause button. As much as I want him to stay five forever and never loose his boundless imagination, tender heart, and sweet little boy giggle, at every stage he has surprised and delighted us with new things. Sure, some stages have made me want to pull my hair out, starting with the grays, but I'm sure the next stages will bring new things to be thankful for.

On the plus side, O is super excited for school, so at least there won't be two of us trying not to weep tomorrow!

"Look how big I am, Mom!"

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