Slow down. You move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kickin' down the cobblestones. Lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy....
I've been singing it to myself ever since I put Mr. Pants on the bus this morning. My misty eyes are reminding me that I had better love every second of this. In just a few weeks, Mr. Pants will be three. And after a summer of camping and growing up big, he will start preschool. Like for real, preschool. Right now he attends two mornings a week at a program for children with developmental delays. He loves it so so much. And he loves riding the bus. Like he dreams about it. When he wakes in the morning the first words out of his mouth are often "Ah Bu-thn?" Which is "On bus?". I think he's going to really love preschool too.
We decided to go ahead and send him to the city preschool. He will go two days a week but for six hours each day instead of two and half. It will be a long day. But after much thinking and re-thinking we've decided it's a good idea. All of his current teachers, Miss Mary Beth and his specialists recommend that he move up to a preschool filled with typically developing children so that he can learn from his peers. It sounds like a good idea. And most of me thinks it will be a year of great strides for him. But there is a small voice that is scared. Today I am beating back that small voice and putting it in a choke hold. We will give this a go. I can always pull him out if it isn't going well.
We meet to set his IEP goals next week and I have a list. I know that they will want to work on his fine motor skills. This kid can scale a rock wall but he can't hold a pen. Or give a thumbs up. True story, if you give Pants a thumbs up he will return a pointed finger at you and say "OH YEAH!!". Basically he does his best Randy "Macho Man" Savage impression. And when you give him the double thumbs up, he returns with a double point. Makes me smile every time. But it's also telling of his fine motor delay. So is the frustration he experiences when he can't make his fingers cut with scissors. So we will keep working on that. Because I want to be able to read his handwriting when he leaves me counter notes telling me where he is going to be during his moody teen years. Also on the list for the IEP? Eating, playing safely and talking. And I do think that being surrounded by kids that talk will encourage him to give it a go more often. Peers can be great motivators. So that's our plan. To give it a whirl.
This morning it occurred to me that sometimes I think about it all too much. I analyze and go over it in my head and drive myself nuts. Hoping and wishing things for him. Wondering if the kids at his new school will like him. Wondering if his teacher will appreciate his unique take on things. Thinking, thinking, thinking. But today as I walked him down to the bus (a privilege that is usually Daddy's), I realized that someday soon he's not gonna want us to wait at the bus stop with him. Or worse he's gonna drive out of the driveway himself. So I needed a reminder to stop thinking so much about all of this and just let it ride. And today at the end of the driveway, we waited for the bus and sang songs. In that five minutes, I saw that my baby boy was getting bigger and more awesome by the second. He jumped onto the bus and blew me kisses goodbye. And as I strolled Plum back up to the house, I cried some happy tears. This kid is amazing. He's crazy cool and funny and smart. And no amount of school can teach that. He did that all on his own. He's just fine. Even if he ends up writing in chicken scratch.