I just didn't think it would be this hard.
I thought I'd have years to prepare for these moments...graduations, going to college, moving away, getting married.
I never realized these sorts of moments would come so quickly.
I was watching Wardie at the playground recently and he was trying to talk and play with some bigger kids. The kids were totally ignoring him. They weren't being mean, they just had their own agendas, their own plans. And he wasn't in them.
And my mama heart hurt for him.
I mean, come ON!? Why weren't those kids noticing him? He was just trying to play!
And, why didn't they think he was the cutest child on the planet? And, didn't their parents teach them manners and how to be kind to younger and smaller kids!?
I mean, look at this face...
How could someone not want to hang out with that kid!?
But, I resisted the temptation to jump in and reassure him. And, after trying again and getting the same response from the bigger kids, he shrugged. He moved on. He survived. On his own. He called out to me to watch him and I called back to him, approving of his games and praising his new feats.
I have spent the past 3 1/2 years enjoying every moment I've had with him. Twirling to our favorite music. Cooking dinner. Snuggling in bed in the mornings. Reading. Tracing letters on his back with my fingers. Swimming. Picking berries. Weeding. Planting. Sowing.
And, now, reaping what we have sown.
Preschool starts tomorrow.
It's a good thing. I know he will learn there. I know the teachers and their extended expertise in Montessori style. I know that the best thing for him is being able to engage daily and really focus on his work. I know this will bring out the best in him.
But, my mama heart aches just a bit to know that he'll be gone in the mornings. Or, more so, that he won't be with me. Just a little papercut in my heart that I know will grow bigger over time, only to be made whole again someday, though never in the same way that it is now.
I know that this is just the first step in the lifelong process of letting go.