This has been a year of transition for you. Last summer I was pretty nervous about how things would go when you started preschool in the fall. You’d done a lot of growing during ‘Mommy School’ and then the fun school you spent an hour at a couple of times each week, but this was the real deal. You’d be there for at least a few hours at a time, you’d be preparing for kindergarten, and I just wasn’t sure how you’d do.
Imagine my relief when you went into your new classroom that first morning without a tear or complaint. And imagine my joy when you told me that you liked it so much that you wanted to stay for the full school day instead of only half the day.
You’ve grown so much this year: Socially, academically, emotionally, spiritually. You have exceeded my expectations, not only at school, but in life, and you’ve taught me an important lesson in the process: You are capable of much more than I sometimes give you credit for.
I’m not trying to be insulting. It’s not that I think you aren’t capable of things. It’s more that I still see you as so little. Eli is the oldest, so we probably expect too much from him, and then there’s you; forever my baby boy, even if you’re not the baby.
Even so, I see you growing a little bit each day. You still love to be silly (I hope that never changes!), but you’re also always thinking. Your inquisitive nature has you asking questions that are far deeper than the average four year old asks, and it’s also displayed in your love of nature and science experiments.
You’ll start kindergarten in the fall and although you’ve proven that you’re ready, the thought of it fills me with just as much dread as it did when Eli started. I know I’ll adjust, but the idea of you being gone five full days each week already makes me ache with how much I’ll miss you.
A few weeks ago you were looking for a specific pajama shirt at bedtime. When you found it lying on the floor, dirty from the last wear, you blamed me for not having washed it yet. As I tried to explain the importance of you taking care of your own things, I described how you’d be responsible for your own laundry in college. You asked what college was, so I explained that once you complete your school time here and are almost a grownup, you might go to a school away from home. We were walking down the hall as we talked, but as we reached your bedroom door I looked down to see your dark eyes filling with tears.
“I don’t want to leave home,” you told me with a shaking voice, and in that moment, lessons about responsibility and growing up faded away because I feel exactly the same way.
I know sometime in the future, you’ll decide differently and I probably will too. But for now I’m happy to keep you here with me as long as I’m able. You’re about to take a step that will take you out of the preschool years and into the school age years, but no matter how old you get, you’ll always be my baby boy and I’ll always want you to stay as close to home as possible.
Happy fifth birthday sweet boy.
I love you!