Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School's In

I'm way less of a blubbering sap as a mother than I thought I'd be. I'm emotional by nature, very sentimental, but I have hardly had a moment of reflecting on HR's life in a teary, "they grow up so fast" sort of way. Witnessing him hitting all his milestones has been purely celebratory. I think the reason is because I have loved every stage more than the last. I loved him as a baby of course, but he's just gotten better with every bit of growth (give or take a little whining and willfuness). But as we tiptoe to the brink of him beginning preschool, I'm starting to feel it, what I assumed I'd feel all along, that emotional sweep inside. I could cry thinking about what it's going to be like to drop him off on that first day, even though I have no way of knowing how it's going to go. It's not because I don't want him to be older, or more independent. It's going to be so so good for him to go to school and be with other kids and all that. It's not even that I don't trust an unrelated person to watch him. I mean, I don't, but I've got to cut the cord sometime.

It's just that I have an achilles heel when it comes to little ones, especially my own of course, and that is empathy. What kids go through in life, their vulnerability and the fact that they are at everyone's mercy, it makes me want to grab up every one and make sure they know they are loved and will be cared for. Whether my empathy is genuine because theses kids are going through something I've been through, or projected from my own imagination, I can't stop myself from thinking about what's going on in children's minds when they are thrown into a new situation. Seeing the way HR looks at us, the people who aren't paid to look out for him, and the confidence he has that we won't do him harm, then thinking about the confusion he might feel if a teacher speaks harshly to him, or, I don't know what, it just kills me. Just thinking about his face kills me. I don't think he should be sheltered forever or think the world is all about him. That's partly why he needs this experience. I just wish--and I don't think I'm unique for feeling this--that he could learn all those important life lessons without having to learn them by being hurt in some way.

I don't worry about HR at all anymore when he's with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., because we've gone away and come back enough times for him to know we'll always come back, and usually he's so distracted by the fun of being with them that he doesn't miss us at all. But this is new territory. This is different. To think that even for a second we'll be setting him up for distress breaks my heart. I know he'll be OK. I know he'll love school, if not at first than eventually. But it is definitely the biggest emotional parental crossroads I've reached in the three-plus years I've been in the game. The first of many, hooray.

No comments:

Post a Comment