Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Big, Brave Day

I know all the Mamas are doing it, but I can't help m'self.

Mr. Lee started school today. The miracle is that I got him out the door (willingly) in attire that was not made entirely of mesh. The secret? The undershirt. I bought him a bonus pack of white undershirts (just like Daddy wears) and he was good to go. He also wore his NBA sweatband all morning, but decided on just the orange wrist band when Daddy told him that the teacher may ask him to put the sweatband in his back pack when he got to school.

Baby steps.

I did not shed a tear. Is that ok? Of course I felt those pangs of nostalgia and the yearning to turn back the clock a few years. I longed for one more ruffle of his homegrown baby mohawk. I wished I could really remember his baby gibberish. I saw those years flash before me and yes, it was hard to comprehend that we went so quickly from all of that to this.

But it's time and that just can't be helped. I was excited for him.

One of my biggest jobs as a mommy is to teach my kids independence. I knew that this would be hard for him. He's a homebody. He's also double-dipped in honey and rolled in sugar. He is affectionate and loving and holds my hand everywhere we go. If left up to him, he would not have gone to pre-school (the precise reason he was enrolled) and he most certainly would opt out of Kindergarten.

Now, if we were kicking around sending him off to Junior High? Well, he'd be all over that. But little dude gets jittery and nervous in the wake of construction paper and crayons and all things kid-friendly.

The best news of all is that his best friend is in his class.

And in case you didn't know, this is what best friends do on that first Big, Brave Day.

His eyes took on a certain sheen at the very last minute, but my prayers for a courage fill-up were answered and he soldiered on.

For the next three hours, I stayed busy mashing potatoes and baking a cake that ended up tasting a little like a peach omelet. I watched those minutes tick. I willed more courage and maybe even some fun.

Waiting for that bus to come into view, I felt blind-date antsy. I can honestly say that I've never been happier to see a school bus.

He did it.

Tonight, heading out to meet his brand-new cousin, Baby Macy, he said, "OK, maybe I do like Kindergarten."

Can you hear it? That's music, baby.