To my eldest son, on his first day of preschool...
Tomorrow you begin a new chapter in your big-boy life. You begin your first day of preschool. We have anticipated this day for many months. We've talked about all the new things you are going to learn, the new friends you are going to make, and the fun times you are going to have. We went to Target together, just you and me, to buy your school supplies -- two kinds of glue, an orange folder labeled with your name, watercolors, a new backpack, and a package of 12 broadline Crayola markers (which took me 5 stores to find -- who knew??). We attended your open house and met your new teacher, Mrs. Lisa, who seems very nice. Both of us have been so excited about the "big day" and have been counting it down for weeks.
So why do I feel so weepy as the day approaches?? I've been so ready for you to begin this new stage. I know you will have so much fun, and really do need to have this time that is just for you. You are ready for the challenges that school will put towards you. And I need some one-on-one time with your brother, too, who up until now has just sort of gone with the flow of our daily plans. But I know I am going to miss you so very much. I will miss knowing you are around all day, every day. I quit my job, my career, so I could be here with you and for you every day. To watch you change and grow from a barely walking 12 month old into a running, skipping, jumping, exuberant 3.4 year old. And now you are the one making this gigantic step. Not me. But it is me, in many ways. I have to let you go - your first step towards childhood independence. For 2.5 hours a day, twice a week, someone else is going to be watching over you and caring for you. Making sure you are safe, happy and learning new things. This is a big change for you "baby" boy. But it's a big change for me, too.
I'll give you bumper kisses before you go into your new classroom tomorrow, and pray that you make it through with no tears -- and me, too. And I'll pray that life won't suddenly flash by me and I'm giving you bumper kisses as you head off to college, too. I just want it all to slow down a bit so I can see you through this time and live in the moment that is now. My little boy. 3 years old and heading off to his first day of school.