tomorrow is a big day in our world; eli starts “school”. i know it’s technically not school as far as kindergarden, etc., but it’s still a big deal in my mommy-world. he will be attending glasgow’s montessori school in their new toddler “stepping stones” program that started this year. i am thrilled for so many reasons but mostly because i know eli is going to have an absolute ball. every day (and i do mean every day, 100x a day), eli asks to play with kids. our neighbors, his play buddies/friends, the library gang, strangers…it doesn’t matter to him. he just loves to be around other kids. it tugs at my heart both in a happy and sad way. it makes me so happy that he loves being around people (not sure where he gets that from…ha), but it also makes me a little sad that he won’t have a sibling as a built in companion (but that’s another post in and of itself). up until now we have done everything available to be active in the community and with other kids (library story time, swimming, music class, play groups, etc.), but this more formal and structured environment is going to be wonderful for him on so many levels.
we’ve spent the last few weeks talking a lot about school with him to get him ready. he picked out his new backpack (green with his name and a train), we bought new crocs (required indoor shoes for school), talked about the kids in his class, focused more on sharing (we’re having trouble with that!), etc. i think he’s prepared…but i’m not sure i am! today i got his backpack ready and as i snuggled with him before bed tonight it really hit me. my little baby, my little miracle is becoming a little boy. he has a strong, determined personality. while he’s still very reliant on us for many things, he has become so independent in others. it makes me both proud and sad. part of me wants to hide him in our little bubble forever and never let him into the scary/amazing/relentless/chaotic/beautiful world that exists outside of the sweet little life he has known up until now. i already worry about bullies, peer pressure, drugs, driving, college…the list goes on. but i know that’s just part of it. the mom worry that will never, ever, ever go away and, in fact, only gets stronger.
so tomorrow when we go to school, i will be strong. i will smile and tell him how much fun he will have and what a big boy he is. i will take pictures and celebrate this time in his life. but on the inside, i am going to shed several tears (and more when i get back in the car). he will be fine…better than fine in fact. he will love it. i am the one who needs the pep talk. i can do this…nine hours a week (mwf 8-11am)..i can do this.