Last week, I took the boys with me to drop off J's preschool registration papers. He will be starting preschool this fall. *Gulp.* Yes, as in a few weeks from now.
I know. I know. I'm late getting this stuff together. I was born two weeks late because I was all "heck no I won't go"...and I've been running late ever since. Story of my life.
Anywho, on our way back home, we passed my old high school. I say, "Look J! That is where mama went to high school. High school is where the big kids go to school."
Taking in the huge school with the stadium, he looks at me wide-eyed and asks, "Mama, were you lonely there all by yourself?"
(Oh my heart can't take it!) I say, "Oh no sweetie! Mama wasn't lonely. I made some friends just like you will. You will make friends, learn new things and play fun games. You won't be lonely."
Cautiously, I peer into the rear-view mirror to look at his sweet face to see if my words have made him feel any better. I see him looking out the window with his face full of doubt and worry. My heart is simultaneously so full yet threatens to break into a million pieces.
My baby. My sweet boy will be going to preschool. He is going to be under someone else's care. He will be away from me for several hours at a time for a couple of days a week.
For our little family, this is a huge, ginormous, gigantic deal. J has stayed at home with me since he was born and he, well if I'm being honest, we are nervous about him heading out into the world.
Why? Well, there's a million reasons. But it all comes down to this. There is no one other than my husband or myself who love this child more. And because we love him so much, we are the best people to care for him.
Admittedly, I am a wigster. (What is a wigster you ask? Well, a wigster is one who wigs out about any and all things, also known as a worrier.) Before kids, I was somewhat of a wigster, but after kids, I have full-blown wigsteritis. (For clarification, I just suffer from wigsteritis in regards to my kids. Most of the things I worried about before kids, don't seem so important now.)
Here's the thing. My rational self tells me that going to preschool is good for J! He will learn how to do things on his own and he will gain confidence and independence. All good characters to have because that is what we want for him. We want him to grow up to be a hard-working, compassionate, confident, God loving, independent person. This is one small stepping stone on his journey.
But my emotional self tells me that he is still just a baby. The thought of handing him over to someone else even for just a few hours threatens to break my heart in two. No one will take care of him like I will. No one knows better his likes and dislikes. No one will know how to best comfort him when he gets upset. No one loves him like I love him.
So, my brain is going to have to whip my heart into shape. I know this is going to be great for J! Here he will start to develop independence and confidence that he will need for his own 'Journey of A Thousand Miles'. This is the first act in his story of life and I know he will be a great starting lead.
Looks like I just need to put on my big girl pants! I'm sure there will be tears for both of us that first day. But that's okay. Because at the end of the day, I will be greeted by that sweet little face, a big hug and he can tell me all about his great first day.