My son was excited to start preschool.
We practiced the morning before, since we’ve never really had a schedule before, and by the time we would be leaving for preschool my son was nowhere near ready, yet was at least dressed and fed.
We talked about how the morning would go, and what he would do.
But he already knew.
There would be kids, and trucks, and toys.
The night before he fought his slightly earlier bedtime as I made sure everything was packed in a bag- spare change of clothes, a non-perishable food option, our pictures, a toy.
And I thought about it.
My son has only twice been cared for by someone who was not family. Both times he took it well, a hug and a kiss and running off to have fun with other people. Both times I worried more than I needed to, hiding it with over preparation for Wonder Boy.
He looked forward to preschool, and I looked forward to dedicated time for cleaning and working.
The night before I was teased about the tears that would inevitably fall from a mom taking her first child to preschool- not tears of sadness specifically, but just tears of a strong emotion.
I had already teared up about my pride in my son, and I was both accepting it would happen yet determined I would not be one of those moms.
Outside the car in the parking lot, with the wails of a child echoing down the little alleyway, I looked at my son and told him how proud I was and how great he would be.
He fairly quivered with excitement.
As I struggled to keep him by me instead of running off for the playground, children in various degrees of business surrounding us and parents with cameras snapping away, the director ushered a quivering little boy by my son and introduced him to Wonder Boy. The director had already been regaled by a relative with stories of my social and compassionate son, and knew he would be a good child for a tearful one to be with.
I was comforted and flattered, thinking that on my son’s first day of school that the teacher already understood his secure self.
I said a quick goodbye and walked away, the frantic pace of getting him to school and settled slowed, but the tears didn’t fall.
We were both ready.