I’ve known this day was coming. I’ve known it since the day he was born. And yet somehow, I can’t believe it’s here.
Tomorrow, he goes off on his own. He enters the next stage of his life. He goes from being the baby curled up on my chest to a little boy with his own opinions and his own friends. He is leaving the comfort of his day care, the comfort of his routine. He will leave behind his beloved preschool teachers and everything he’s ever known.
Tomorrow, we leave summer behind and he will leave the house with a big boy backpack full of supplies and a lunchbox – packed with the strawberry/bacon wrap he requested – clutched in his still tiny hand.
I will walk him down the street to the big building we’ve been hyping up for months and I will hold his hand as we walk up to the double glass doors and then down the hall to his new classroom. I will help him find his desk, say hello to his new teacher, and then I will have to kiss him goodbye.
Tomorrow, he will sit at his new desk, unpack his new box of pencils, and learn new things. He will walk down the halls, taking in all the new surroundings, wondering if he’s going to like this new school.
He will introduce himself to the kid sitting next to him (I know he will, he’s not shy) and maybe begin a friendship that will last many years. He will sit and eat his lunch in the big cafeteria and maybe even pause for a moment in all the excitement to think about us – his little brother and I – and wonder if we’re eating lunch, too… if we’re having any fun without him.
In the afternoon, when I pick him up, he will flash me that huge smile of his, run up and give me the biggest hug I’ve gotten all year and proceed to talk a mile a minute telling me everything about his first day. He will tell me about how great his teacher is and how many friends he made and all the new stuff he learned. And I will soak it in knowing that there will come a time he won’t be so free with his thoughts. There will be a huge smile on his little brother’s face – because as much as they fight I know they are going to miss each other – as they race down the sidewalk and head toward home.
Tomorrow, our life starts a new chapter. And I will try not to let him see me cry (because I know I will). I will do my best to smile and be strong for him because he’s nervous enough without knowing that I am too. Tonight, I will tuck him in tight and tell him how proud I am of him and I will whisper in his ear that he will always be my baby. I might even curl up with him and just breathe him in.
Because tomorrow… that baby of mine? He will officially be a Kindergartener.
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