I had to buy school uniforms last week. The navy blue and white, the school logo, all signal the passage of time. My four-year-old starts Kindergarten in just a few days.
My first baby, the child that changed everything about my life and my priorities is going to school. Thankfully, he will still be half-days only, as his school is one of the last Ontario schools to convert to full-day JK. And truth be told, we enrolled him in Nursery School three afternoons/week last year, so the step up to five afternoons/week is the next logical progression.
He is more than ready. The question is, am I?
As we carefully label his backpack and his water bottle, I remember the hours spent in his nursery, folding his clothes, unpacking his diapers, building his crib, all in the anticipation of his birth. And as we buy his running shoes and his snack containers, I remember the hours spent in the playroom, the backyard, the kitchen, teaching him to stack and unstack, open and close, count and sing.
My husband and I have a short-form via text message for ‘heading home’: because it’s a phrase we use often in our daily comings and goings, we simply text ‘HH’ and the partner at home knows that the other is on their way. And since I will be the one dropping our son off at school on his first official day while my husband is at work, I will text ‘HH’ on my walk back home with our 18-month-old daughter so he knows that the drop-off went well. I will be ‘HH’ back to a new reality, the next chapter, and the start of a new adventure for all of us. Bye-bye to my baby, my toddler, my Preschooler, and hello to my Kindergartener.
September 13th is his first official day. And as I drop off my not-so-little boy at school, I can promise you there will be tears, and lots of them. But my tears will be hidden from him by my smile and my hugs, mixed with nostalgia and excitement, disbelief and joy, amazement and hope.
I will be ‘HH’… proud and content.