My little three year old is with a group of strangers. He's at preschool for the first time. Just a couple of hours, two days a week, a little program to help him learn to speak a little more clearly, to comprehend a little more thoroughly and I have to go pick him up soon.
He's the baby of the family. He was SO excited to go to school like his older sibs this morning. He tried on the little backpack yesterday and wore it for a while in anticipation, disappointed that he wasn't going right then.
When we got to the school, we waited for the teacher to come find us in the hallway. He waved to the lady who helped evaluate his speaking skills and she asked him if he was excited and he just about jumped out of his skin for joy. She was glad he was excited. After a few minutes of waiting, he wanting to be held and he held his cheek to mine and the smile was gone and I thought, "uh-oh".
"I love you."
"Are you okay?"
"Are you a little scared?"
"It's normal to be a little scared, but everything will be okay."
I held him until he was too heavy, and we went to ask around to find his teacher. We found her at last. All the classes were meeting in the front hallway until they had everyone there before splitting up. She introduced him to the other kids in the class and got him playing with a small box of toys. I tried to get his attention to tell him goodbye and I would be back later. He just gave me a quick look like, "Yea, Mom, I know." I left.
One side of me is shouting, "Yes! He might have finally accepted he can be somewhere without me." The other side of me is tearing up thinking, "He can be somewhere without me."
My husband and I have decided we're done having kids. This boy is our last one. How come the last one is as hard as the first? How come I don't feel like I've really learned how to be a mom?
I know I'll get over this the next time he pulls out all of the file cabinet drawers and nearly brings it all down on top of himself, but...excuse me. I have to go use up some tissue.