Tomorrow morning, we’ll wake up as we do most weekdays–me, rushing to fit a shower in before Eloise begins calling, Henry, slowly but surely as he warms up to the day (and everyone and everything in it). We’ll meander downstairs for breakfast, and I’ll entertain E in the high chair while Henry plays cars and Legos in the living room as I prep the table for our weekday trio. Tomorrow will look a lot like every other day, right up until we wipe faces and hands and push our chairs in after bowls of cereal, yogurt, one cup of tea.
Then, it’s not on to playtime in the playroom and sleepy-eyed Eloise asking for more milk and a morning nap. Instead, the order of the day is pulling on school clothes, combing hair, double checking a packed back pack. I’ve not arrived at embracing this yet, and I can’t decide if I’m in some weird state of denial, or if I just feel like three school is kind of a chill deal.
Jason reminded me tonight that this might be the last time Henry is home “all of the time.” That from tomorrow until forever, Henry will leave the house at increasing intervals and be away from here, in some capacity, every school year. Maybe this is true. And maybe I should be making a bigger deal of it in so many ways, but I haven’t. I do like our little man right where he is, and right where I know how he’s doing, so it’s possible that this is me being naive. We get to go to school with him for the *entire* one hour intro-to-three-school day tomorrow, which probably (no, definitely) softens the reality of the first day of school a bit. I mean, I’ll walk into his classroom with him and will stay there the whole time, and then we’ll drive home sharing about the hour and his teacher and his cubby and all of his new great friends…together. Check back with me on Friday. Friday I might be one big ball of a mess.
In these early years, there are so many firsts–and they happen one after another after another, so very quickly. Eloise, for example, has learned to stand up on her own, to take a handful of steps, and to say about 20 words, all in the matter of less than a month. Talking and walking? Those are crazy-big firsts! At three, you likely potty train and wear undies successfully for the first time, and then maybe you ride a bike for the first time, and suddenly? Suddenly you’re a grown human being who meanders off to school on his own and gets accepted to college on scholarship to become a doctor/engineer/fireman/writer/hero over night. I will blink and they’ll both be married adults with children and professions of their own, right? How many parents have felt this way in these past several weeks as yellow buses roll on down the road for yet another beginning of another school year? Normal, normal stuff, I’m sure of it.
For some reason, though, I’m not excitable on this one. I’m excited for Henry, don’t get me wrong. I know he’s going to love school and everything (ok, mostly everything) in it. I know he’s going to grow wings this year as he learns Spanish and makes new friends and becomes even more independent. I also know that when I walk into that building I feel present in it, and when I walk away from it, I don’t. It’s like I’m standing in my own yard, and I know that the future is just on the other side of that fence. But I won’t look over. I’ll accept and acknowledge that it’s there, but I haven’t greeted it or said hello or baked it a pie and welcomed it to the neighborhood.
Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Maybe Henry and I will do that together. Kind of like holding hands and jumping off the side of the deep end of the pool together on the count of three, only he’ll learn how to swim on his own this time, and I’m going to have to let go of his hand.
there’s a first for everything. (spanish immersion) three school included. you’re going to be so great, buddy–i just know it!
El Señor te bendiga y te guarde, henry. te quiero un montón loco!