I know they grow up. I've been watching it happen. Their baby fat shrinks away and lean little boys replace the chubby toddlers I was so used to for so long. They take long confident strides instead of tentative little waddles. They talk, in full sentences, with great flair and imagination instead of babbling. And they need me a little bit less than they did before. That can be beautiful and stunning at the same time.
Big Dog seems to be sprouting wings as he goes off to kindergarten daily. He loves school. He loves to show off what he's learned. His confidence is blossoming and he is comfortable in the big brick building that dwarfed him as he walked in the first day. And our routine is changing too. Since we are not in the transportation area for his school, I drive him. We park the car and I walk with him up to the playground to wait until the bell rings. The first days were timid. He'd stick very close to me, not seeking out his friends then making the mad dash to line up as soon as the bell rang. The following weeks were slightly more social, he'd talk to friends, engage them in a game of hide and seek but demand that I be the seeker. And then he dropped the bomb. "Mommy, can you drop me off at school?"
"Sure," I replied. "I take you to school every day."
"No, drop me off. Like you leave me at the playground, just from the parking lot."
And it dawned on me that he was really asking to be driven to school then left. No waiting period. No parental involvement once he arrived.
"Sure," I replied again, but maybe with a little catch in my throat. Dropping him off would actually ease my morning rush a bit and the newly found confidence to be dropped off is another big step in his independence. At the same time, I hadn't expected the request and it surprised me how quickly he was ready to move out from under my wing.
"It's just that I want to play with my friends. I like staying with you, but it's hard to play with my friends when I'm keeping you company." So instead of me holding his hand through the transition, he seems to believe he was holding mine. And I guess, in a way, he was.
So we drop off now. A quick kiss and off he goes with a confident bounce in his gait as he bolts to the playground. And I drive off to work with the proud smile of a mother raising a secure child.
Pasta ala Fridge
5 years ago