Keep your eyes wide, the chance won’t come again

Last night, I had my son trace over letters spelling “THANK YOU” and then suggested some different things he try to color as part of that picture. I also sat down with paper and pen and wrote a heartfelt, two-page letter to the administrators and teachers at his school, that in no way can touch how grateful I am for all they did for him while he was under their care, but I hope at least lets them know that what they did, what they do every day, it matters. It matters a lot and it meant the world to me. I cried the whole time I was writing the letter. What a sap, I know.

At dinner, he “reminded” me that tomorrow (today) was his last day there, and I said I knew that, and asked him how he felt about it, whether he was sad or excited or what. “Sad,” he said, “but also excited.” I let it sit there a minute, as I knew he was still thinking about it. “Nervous,” he said. I thought that was so self-aware, and I love that he feels he can express himself this way. “Those are all appropriate things to feel,” I told him, “they all make sense, and that’s about how I feel about it, too.”

He’s had a bit of a hair trigger these past few days, understandably. He cried when I threw away the last couple of pieces of apple he didn’t eat, though he had said hew was done. And that his favorite shoes no longer fit and had to be moved to the Goodwill pile. 

He requested a dance party last night, and selected “Can’t Touch This,” “We Will Rock You” and “Iko Iko.” We danced around the living room and acted crazy. I did the dishes and he got a bath. It was a pretty normal night, though he had trouble getting to sleep, and so did I.

I made him present the thank you drawing to the administrator who opens the door in the morning, and I gave her the card I bought, with the letter inside, and asked her to please circulate it to all of the other admins and to all his teachers he has had over the past 2.5 years there. 

I watched everything I was doing almost from a distance. Just as I did when I was leaving my job for the last time a few months ago. It’s like I’m watching a movie happening, recording everything as best I can in my memory while it happens. Trying to be present but also being aware at a higher level than normal. So much change this year. I knew 2014 would be a year of change – some expected, some unexpected, and it sure has been … and it’s not over yet, not by a long shot.

His breakfast-time teacher hugged me and told me what a great Mom I am and how I bring food in every day that helps his body and brain grow big and strong, so much so that she’s sometimes envious of his meals, which made me laugh through my tears. I tried not to look like I was crying as D and I blew kisses through the window one last time, then turned on my heel and the tears were unstoppable as I walked down that little hallway, lined with colorful drawings and pictures of smiling kids doing silly and wonderful things. Out the door and on my way. It’s hard to drive while you’re crying.

I’ll pick him up tonight as well, but lingering too long would just be painful for D. It needs to be a proper goodbye, but I’m also couching it in congratulations for doing such a great job learning while you were in preschool. There will be a celebratory dinner out at the B-spot, his favorite restaurant. And perhaps a bourbon for Mom.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

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