You are starting Kindergarten this week and there are some things that I need to say. You would never let me say these things to you now because emotional "Mama Cries at the End" conversations tend to make you breath really hard, shout something like "MAAAAAMA!" and run away. I get that about you so I try so hard to respect it most of the time.
It's cool, bud. You are far less emotional than I. I get it. It's totally weird for me, but I get it. You are your own fully-formed person who prefers logic-centered conversation and, as it stands, gushy over-the-top displays of affection send you in to uncontrolled grunting fits. It's who you are. It's all good. I love you enough to put aside my need for sappy hour-long love fests so I am keeping our actual interactions on this subject short, informative and sweet. And, dude, Let It Be Known (!) that I appreciate the fact that you let me hug you at the end of our "Getting Ready For Kinder" talks. I really do, because I know you, and you are absolutely doing that for me.
Noted and appreciated. High-Five, Buddy.
But you know? There is is this super cool and sneaky way that I can tell you how I feel while at the same time not trapping you into the intimate and blubbering displays that I am accustomed to needing when life makes me gooey inside. It's this internet, my love.
The internet lets me gush about you now so that someday when you are older, and maybe wondering what all this life changing business meant for you and I, you will have the chance to know. You can come back and read this letter and know what was filling my heart tonight. Then, of course, you can then tell me as an adult with your deep man voice and adult words that I am still a mushy and emotional ticking time bomb that you don't understand but love anyway. Deal?
Ok, let's begin...
Oh, baby boy. You are going to Kindergarten this week. I am so excited for you and I am so jazzed for the growing you will do this year. I'm pumped that you are excited to learn how to read. You talk about it all the time. And I can't wait for the whole world to open up so so big when you make that jump from Almost-Reader to full on Super Reader. How cool will that be? I can't wait to see it happen for you.
Bubba, I love this time in our life. You are so much fun and I am so down with you being exactly who you are. You are funny. You are sensitive. You are crazy smart. You are loving. You are kind. You are solid in your identity.
But I'm gonna be real with you right now; I'm a bit of a mess this week. But It's not because I don't want you to grow up. It's because watching you and your sister grow up is the greatest blessing of my life. Watching you become you and change and grow as life takes us down this road together is awesome.
And it's so damn hard sometimes too.
It's hard because I find myself questioning a lot. I wonder if I did right by you in these early years when I was home with you and if I could have been better. I wonder if how I tried to mold and shape your little brain was the "RIGHT" way. I start to wish for time to rewind so I can go back and fix a few murky spots. I start to beat myself up about things. But then just this morning I came to understand the biggest reason I have been questioning myself. And that's because it has come time again to trust more people with you. And, oh man, that always makes me a little nervous. There is a selfish part of my heart that wants to keep you innocent and with me forever.
It's funny because at the very same time I want you to become more confident and able to navigate the world while growing the grace, hilarity and smarts you already have. And you can only do that, love, if I let you open those unique wings of yours wider and wider. It's growing up. For you and for me.
And so that means letting you walk into that school and make mistakes, discoveries and strides on your own while I throw my chin straight up into the air and pretend that my heart isn't heavy while watching you go. It means waiting until you are safe in your class to let the tears come. It means that I will be waiting in the car at 3:20 each day wondering what conversation we will have on the ride home. So, yeah, about that the memory of me smiling and strong on your first day of school? Total sham, dude, that you won't discover until you read this one day.
And, love, I need something from you.
As we head down this, your first year of elementary school, I need you to understand that when I snuggle your tiny body at night I will be sniffing your hair and feeling your heart beat and noticing the little movements and sounds that you make as you drift off. I might put weird lovey notes in your lunch box. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that I will (quickly) hug you a thousand times more than I do now. Because these days feel more numbered now, babe. And coping with that might mean that I kiss your face a few more times a day. And you are gonna have to deal with that. Because you going to Kindergarten has me realizing you are going to leave for good someday. And shit. That has me a bit kerfuffled.
(Note: Kerfuffled means fucking crazy. And it's ok that I am cussing because you can't read this yet)
The whole truth, my baby boy, is that it's all good. And just a little sad. And so much unknown. And a little intense for your mama right now. But because I know it's little intense for you too, I will be careful and soldier on while cheering the hell out of this for you. Just know that I was also taking a few minutes in the bathroom to cry a few letting go tears before we got in the car each morning because, damn, this is wild. You are going to Kindergarten! Freaking KINDERGARTEN!
And baby? I am rooting for you. I am rooting so hard for you.
We've got this.
I love you.
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xoxo, Mama Pants