And, in case you're not satisfied with three days of posting in a row, you can check out a guest post I did for my future SIL, Artistically Amy, wherein I talk about how I ended up as here as this crazy Zookeeper in my nutty life. Check it out here!
So yesterday was Jack's first day of school this year. We're at a new school and we already love it - the place is fabulous. As a social, outgoing, lover of learning, Jack has been pretty pumped about the prospect of school all summer. Taking him out of school when we moved was one of the hardest parts of our move, and we weren't sure if we were going to be able to send him down here until we found this place. For days, Jack has been wearing his monkey "pack-pack" around and toting his Thomas lunch box around, talking about going to play with friends and do art and sing songs at school.
The lump I had in my throat yesterday as I dropped him off... or, rather, as I helped him find his way to the classroom so he could dismiss me, was far different from the one I had last year when I left him, teary-eyed and confused, in his first classroom. This year, as I watched my son skip and bound down the hallway, proudly showing off his lunch box, and greet his teacher with a hug and high-five, I was the teary-eyed one because I knew that I was doing something right. I had helped him to be secure and sure of himself. I had helped him find the confidence to venture out away from me, knowing I'd always come back. And I had helped instill in him a love of learning and friendship that makes school such a wonderful tool for me to use in his education.
But, as a Mom who has watched her son grow and develop from a tiny embryo to this three-and-a-half year old little ball of fire, I also know that I have done only that: helped him find those qualities within himself.
So it was a big day... for him, of course, but as always, for me. I am so proud of him and so happy for him... And that's when you know you're a mom: when you feel tears of joy and sadness and just a teeny bit of nostalgia slide down your face on the first day of school. When you're so thrilled that he's starting another chapter in his life and you can't help grinning for him, but you recognize how quickly his childhood is passing so a little bit of desperation creeps into your heart because you want him to stay your cuddly little buddy forever.