Tuesday, August 2, 2011
He's ready even if I'm not
I have five wallet-sized pictures of my sons taped to the bottom of my computer monitor. Each was taken at Hudson’s Photography and progressively shows how three very important little boys have grown up during the past five years, and of course they show how the brood has grown in numbers.
The biggest change in those pictures is the 5-year-old.
He goes from a curly headed almost toddler ,wide-eyed and a little frightened, to a handsome young man with a faux hawk right before my eyes.
Each picture shows his unique and showman-like personality. All smiles, he’s obviously at ease in front of the camera.
But in fact, he’s at ease wherever he goes.
I wish I could say the same ...
But as I write this column, I can look down at my computer monitor and see the change that has taken place in my life. And that change centers on motherhood.
In less than two weeks, I’ll be sending another little boy off to school. No matter how many times I do this, it never seems to get any easier.
You’d think by the third time, I’d be an old pro.
But it seems the older I get, the worse it gets.
I’m no longer a 20-something overzealous mother ready to get it right. I’ve moved past that stage.
Now, I know we’re going to get it wrong, but we know how to make it right.
I know Alex is ready. I know he’s smart, personable and ready to take on the world. He fears nothing, loves attention and performs without limits.
But I also know he’s going to get in trouble for talking too much and for not raising his hand. I know he doesn’t hold his pencil right, and I know he’s going to make the same mistakes all other kindergartners make.
His excitement shows more and more each day. He wears his new-for-school Old Navy fleece around the house, oblivious to the fact that it’s scorching hot outside. He totes his brand-spanking-new SpongeBob lunchbox around the house and asks me to remember that he likes ranch and tells me I should include that dipping sauce in his lunch when he goes to school. And he and I play “school” in his bedroom while the “Ready for Kindergarten” DVD plays in the background. He doesn’t know he’s learning as we play, and I like it that way.
Right now, I’m holding on extra tight to my third born.
But truthfully, I’ve been feeling him let go of me for quite some time.
He’s ready to take his own steps in the world, not following the paths his brothers took, but forging his own trail.
For now, I know it’s important for both of us that I hold his hand. He’ll trip and fall, and I’ll help give him the confidence he needs to stand back up and keep going. And the feel of his warm little fingers will be forever etched in my soul.
The world is Alex’s stage, and with great trepidation and pride, I’m ready to watch him perform.
I’ll be the one stationed in the front row with a tear streaming down my cheek.