Sep 082010
 

All summer, when people would ask, “What are you going to do with yourself once Chooch starts preschool?” I’d usually respond with, “Whatever the fuck I want!” or “Pop open the wine bottle!” or “Have wanton sex with the best powdered-wigged handy men!”

What I knew for sure was that I wasn’t going to be one of those lame moms who CRY.

And then this morning, I was one of those lame moms who CRY.

I woke up with massive butterflies in my stomach, churning the nausea like an over-cooked stew.  I panicked in the kitchen, trying to figure out what would be an acceptable “snack” for him to bring. Then I woke him up with shaking hands, and he eagerly rolled out of bed. He got a bath with no argument, brushed his teeth with no argument, got dressed with no argument. He was READY.

“When can we go?” he whined.

“It’s still too early.”

“Then let’s sit outside!” And so we did, and he excitedly watched the school buses drive past; and he watched Robin’s son Brandon walk past with his backpack, en route to the school up the street.

At about 7:45, I noticed other kids walking to the school across the street, so he shrugged in his Batman backpack and I walked him over to his classroom. He hung up his backpack, found his (Ring-inspired) name tag and placed it on the board.

I guess I expected him to cower behind my legs for a few minutes, for me to have to gently prod him to find a toy to play with. There was only one other kid there at that time – a girl, so he wanted no part in joining her at the dollhouse.

“Oh, Zachary’s here!” he exclaimed, when the kid-genius with glasses shuffled into the room. “You can leave now,” Chooch added, tossing me a “look.”

His teacher came over and stood next to me. “He sure is sweet,” she said, looking at him adoringly. I’m sure that look will dissipate here soon.

“I’m trying not to cry,” I admitted, and she gave me that “aw, you’re so cute” laugh that is usually annoying, but comforted me in this case.

“He’ll be fine,” she promised.

I’m relieved that he’s mostly all healed; that was one less thing to worry about today, because who wants their kid to start school not looking like themselves? (Although, he did get his hair cut yesterday and I think it makes him look even older now. Which is shocking to me. I catch him out of the corner of my eye and think it’s a little Blake sitting there.) If you look closely, you can see the puncture wounds in his bottom lip, but all the scabby mess is gone and the gums above his front teeth aren’t bloody and swollen anymore, either. He’s still going to the dentist tomorrow for x-rays, just to be sure his adult teeth weren’t affected.

I snagged him a few minutes later and begged for a hug.

“Not yet!” he hissed, and my heart soared a little because I thought he meant he didn’t want me to leave yet, but he was talking about the hug. “OK, fine,” he grumbled in annoyance and acquiesced with the hug-doling.

“I’ll be back to pick you up!” I reminded him, but he had already been engulfed by a group of boys with dump trucks.

I cried the whole way home. (Granted, I just have to walk across the street, but still. I cried the whole way!)

  12 Responses to “You’d Think I Sent Him Off to War”

  1. my 2 youngest started preschool yesterday…I think my wife lost it….she’s not sure what to do with herself having an empty house…but the first week here, it’s every other day, to acalimate (sp) the kids to their new school, so at least it’s easing her into it… :D

  2. Yay! You guys are starting a whole new adventure now. School is fun.

  3. He looks like such a big boy now! That little book bag is cute as hell on him. :( How exciting this must be for him. Can’t wait to hear his little stories. I’m sorry you was sad to go. That’s cute as can be though! Hope you both had a great day!

  4. He looks so cute, but you’re right, he looks seriously older than last week. You’re such a good mom with that cute snack bag. At least he’s ready for school, though. Just think about how much harder it would have been to leave, had he been nervous about the first day. It will get easier by next week, I’m sure. Hope it all went well & can’t wait to hear stories! xo

  5. I like your responses when people ask you what you’re going to do when he goes off to school, especially the wanton sex with handy men…except I’d say UPS drivers if I were you (I like their shorts). Hang in there…they say the first day is always the hardest for the parents, but it’ll get easier!

  6. This was such a charming story. I may not be a mom but you made me empathize with the both of you by how well you put it. He is such a stud. He reminds me of my brother when he was that young. I may not know you well at all but it sounds like you’ve done a great job with him.

  7. Wow…….a milestone. They just keep coming the older they get (Lily used the word ‘awesome!’ yesterday for the first time, hardly a major thing but it marks the transition from a child who likes watching Dora the Explorer to one who now watches Hannah montannah, and as soon as it came out of her mouth I could see her sliding down that slippery slope from 6 years old to puberty). But first day of preschool is a biggie, and I cried too.

    • It’s the little things that make me blink. Like a few weeks ago, I noticed Chooch was using the word “Actually” and I couldn’t even remember how that started! It’s not even that big of a deal, but it was to me. Sometimes I forget that he’s only 4!

  8. I love the pictures!! My daughter is not in preschool right now but she is in daycare. The first day she went I cried all the way to work and every couple of hours after that. I couldn’t wait to see her when I got off work. She was perfectly content with going to play with the other kids and leave momma. I miss the days where she needed me to fulfill her every need.

  9. I am still sitting here shocked that he’s starting preschool. Knowing what complete assholes other kids are, and what an asshole the collective world is in general, it must be horrifying to actually let him go!

    • Yes, it is definitely the other kids I worry about! I know that he will inevitably run into cruelty and it makes me realize that I won’t always be there to protect him from that, that he’ll have to experience it and learn how to deal with it on his own at some point. That’s the part of parenting I’m NOT looking forward to.

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