Then came another mail delivery. This time, and envelope from his school; in it a note from his teacher, and a brief description of preschool. I read it all aloud because Cooper wanted to hear it all. After reading through he said, "Mom, I can wear my Mario backpack and my Mario shirt!" My first thought: Oh great, he's already picking out outfits! But really I was relieved to finally hear excitement in his voice about preschool.
There have been a couple of times in this process where it feels like there's a huge lump in my throat, at the same time feeling really old, and feeling like I just want to hold my baby boy again. Those feelings came the day we registered, filling out paperwork, getting a physical for school, the arrival of a backpack, questions about school supplies, and orientation. Our Cooper really is growing up. It causes my heart to ache a little and my mind to ponder.
As I was giving Cooper a bath last night, he talked a lot. But I don't remember much of what he said. My mind was consumed with thoughts about the next day, and in turn, the past 4 1/2 years. Have we done enough? Will he make good choices? Of course he'll make poor choices. How will we respond when he does? Will his teacher have patience with him? Will he make friends? Will he be a good friend? Will he still love home?
Today was a little rainy as we walked into school. We found where he puts his backpack, emptied the papers, and put away his snack. Then with some kisses, hugs, and a "You are kind, you are God's, make good choices" reminder, we were walking away. He smiled, waved, and went off to play.
I made it to the car before the tears came. Even while writing this the tears are still very present. I've realized parenting is a long drawn-out process of letting go. And today we got our first taste of it. A peek into what's to come over the next 14 years. Guys, it's like leaving your heart in a classroom for a couple of hours and saying to this teacher you've only known a few minutes "make sure it keeps beating, love that heart, help it thrive." And I get the teacher's side of it. I walked that road for 5 years. But being on this side gives it a completely different perspective.