Last year at this time I was full of emotion as we prepared to send Chase off to Preschool for the first time. He was three and a half and insisted on taking the bus the short half mile to school. I wanted him to be eager, to be brave and to begin his new journey with excitement. Though a part of me felt anxiety about putting this little human being on a bus I still followed through. I won't forget the look on his face as he walked up those bus steps for the first time. He paused to look back at me, a half smile on his face that was shadowed with a slight look of worry. He turned around as I watched him be guided into a bus seat for the very first time. He looked out his window and I waved to him while clutching his brother to me choking back the sobs I knew would rise as soon as that bus drove away. I wouldn't let him see me cry! Then the bus was pulling away from our house and there was the salty tears painting my face as I walked to the front porch to sit in the rocking chair and cry like a baby. His poor brother looking at me quizzically, wondering what the hell was wrong with mama.
Here we are a year later and soon I will be putting him back on that same school bus. I can say that this year there will be no tears. He gets to go one more day this year ( which makes three afternoons a week! Can you tell the excitement in my typing!) and I am just as elated as he is. Don't get me wrong, I love that boy! As summer comes to a close I know that we both need him to go back to school. We have had several "adventures", a trip to Maine, plenty of beach days, park visits, hikes, and digging in the dirt until he is covered from head to toe.
I also have lost my mind several times over screaming, crying, and repeated fighting. My four and a half year old has seemed to turn into a fourteen year old in the past year. He talks back, sasses, and just the other night he called me a word I won't repeat since apparently he learned it from me. (Fine, you win! He called me a "dick"). Given that last detail I know what he needs is to be around other children and stimulated by someone other than me. Apparently mama is lacking in her verbal skills.
The count down begins. Just a couple of weeks and we both will be much happier. We are fortunate that he gets to go to an amazing preschool program. He is in a classroom with a couple different teachers along with a speech therapist. He gets to have active play, they do circle time, art and he is being taught age appropriate things. Once a month each child has to provide a snack for the rest of the classroom and of coarse this is Chase's favorite thing to do. The boy loves food maybe even more than his mama.
He is forming relationships and learning to bond. I love having him with me yet I know that I cannot give him these things. It is not my job to be his teacher. I am his mother. True my title means I give him a strong foundation to build from yet school is where he gets the building blocks he needs to grow. He is given the chance to learn some valuable things in life by being in a school.He gets to meet people who will be a part of the person he is becoming. He will form friendships that he may still hold onto years from now.
At school he is forced to adapt to a new surrounding. He is given structure and allowed to explore. Then at the end of the day, as I wait for the yellow bus to come drop him off, I am eager to see him. I am anxious to pry out of him what he did for the three hours he was away from me. I can't wait to see the excitement on his face and the sound of his voice as we look at the sheet that is sent home on what they did. My heart is happy and full that I have him next to me again. I am filled with pride at what a wonderful little man he is. I hug and kiss him as he swats me away.
Yes, I am eager to send him off to school again. Does that make me a bad mother? I don't believe so. I am being honest as I believe it is a healthy separation for both of us. I am ready to head to the bus stop and wait for him to walk up those stairs that won't look as big for him as they did last year. I am ready to have some one on one time with his brother. I am anxious for some quiet time where I can get some work done, read and maybe even write a little more. I can go for a run with the stroller. I can clean or exercise without fifty interruptions. Then, at the end of the night he will be so exhausted that bedtime will be sweet as cake.
Just a couple more weeks and it's back to the bus stop. YES!!!