Monday, April 22, 2013


Well, the J-bird's first day of school came and went. I walked him to his class, both of us a little tense and nervous. I thought he might cry. I knew I probably would. I expected a little goodbye moment at the door. But his teacher saw him, and her face lit up. She extended her hand to shake his and told him she was glad to meet him again. He went to her, the door closed between us, and...that was it.


Quiet heart thump.

He never even looked back.

And I was glad.

Because if one of us was going to be sad in that moment, I'd much rather it be me. And he didn't need to know about it. He was ready to go, and it was his moment, not mine.

And when I picked him up later, he flew into my arms and told me, "Mama!  I loved it! I want to do school AGAIN!".

The rest of the week went well. He got very sick with a random ear infection - only the second one he's ever had - and stayed home on Friday, but he's back at school today and happy to be there. Miss V and I miss him a lot. We're having fun together, of course. She's so much fun. We went out for hot chocolate this morning, and we swept the garage together. She's prancing around the house in a pink crown as I write this, enjoying being empress of all she surveys. We both notice the quiet though, and while I'm sure we'll adjust and fall into our own rhythm, it's a little unsettling.

It's also very, VERY strange to have such a large portion of the J-bird's day and his life that I'm suddenly not involved in and in charge of. Does his teacher like him? I don't know. I hope so, but I have no way of knowing, really. Did he wear his hat at recess? Is he making friends? Did he get enough to eat? I'm not in charge of those things. He has to start making his own way, figuring things out, shaking out his brand new little wings and seeing how they work, and I have to stand back, mind my own beeswax, and let him.

This is HARD. He might fall. He might be lonely. Kids might make fun of his charming weirdisms. His spirit might get crushed. He might (will) make a bunch of really stupid mistakes. His childhood stretches out before me, and sometimes I just want to grab a blanket and swaddle him like a baby and rock him to sleep with lullabyes and shushing sounds, so I can put off this "standing back and letting him fly" business a while longer, because it is so difficult. For me. (How horrifyingly selfish is that mess?) I want to hover and shout, "Be careful! Don't fall!", but I won't, because life is full of skinned knees, and skinned knees are how we learn not to be so scared all the time. Who wants to get to the end of their life with pristine knees and no good stories and a heart full of fear?

So yes, it's hard. But it's also kind of beautiful, because I know he can do it. I know he can fly, if I just get out of the way, and let him. Children know how to do this, and it's dazzling to watch.


And terrifying.


Quiet heart thump. 

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