I took yesterday off from blog posting because Caderyn had his first day at his new school.
I was never so happy to have the school year start, but I was also a little sad.
How can this handsome bug be in first grade? It seems like just yesterday he was toddling around, learning to talk, and exploring his surroundings in wonder. Now he runs everywhere, hardly stopping. He doesn't stop talking from the moment he wakes up until he falls asleep--he rarely takes a breath. Caderyn is the most curious and inquisitive boy I know. He wants to know about everything and asks very inquisitive questions. Here are a few ringers he's given me lately: "Don't you wish you could lick your eyeball like a lizard?" "Did you know that immortal jellyfish can start their lives over at any time?" "Why do mountain lions like to eat meat? I'm meat, but they wouldn't think I'd taste very good."
All day long. That's all I hear is a constant stream of questions and wonder.
I know some people out there, mainly people from my family, are probably laughing right now. I was the same way about questions and wanting to know things when I was his age. But seriously, my head spins.
So we started a new school year at a new school. The night before the big day I was restless most of the night. I tossed and turned with anxiety about Caderyn starting at a new school. Would he be okay? Would he make friends, good friends? Would he continue to love learning? All night.
I finally just got up at 4:30 a.m. and had coffee and watched the minutes on the clock tick down to 7:00 a.m. As I went in the to wake him up, I thought he already looked different, older and more mature. Ready for this year. My heart squeezed. When I woke him up, he hopped right out of bed and got dressed. No big deal. He didn't act nervous and wasn't overly emotional about it being the first day of school. It was just an ordinary day in the life of Caderyn James. He wasn't fazed at all.
While waiting in line at school for the bell to ring with all of the other kids on their first day, I looked at my guy and felt the emotions rise to the surface. I held him close and wished him a great day at school. I tried to shrug off the emotions and keep the tears at bay, but then I noticed the Army Dad next to me who was also tearing up about sending his kids to school and I relaxed a little. Change, in all forms, comes whether we want it to or not. A new home. A new school. New friends. A new challenge. As parents we should embrace these changes, good or bad, because they are what make the memories we hold closest to our hearts. Our children, an extension of ourselves, grow up. They become their own person, they rely on you less. They continue to bring you heartache and joy. But they don't love you any less. Their growth and success in education, social and emotional navigation, and self-understanding and awareness is proof that you are doing your job, and a good job at that.
To all my friends and family who have their little ones starting school these next few weeks. Good luck and good job! I want to see ALL THE PICTURES.