Monday, August 10, 2009

My Heart

Kindergarten readiness - the first scanned image is from May 29, 2009; the second, August 7, 2009.

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~Elizabeth Stone

My heart is about to step onto the school bus and make its way to Mrs. Hinkle's kindergarten class, on Wednesday morning. Never has this quote resonated more with me than in these final days leading up to the much-anticipated start of Aidan's official school career. My heart is full of conflict and emotion. I vacillate between periods of elation, seeing how excited Aidan is to begin school, and terror, when I think of the fact that I am essentially leaving him in the care of strangers, all day long, every day, for 180 days. I have complete confidence that Aidan is 100% ready, and that he will soar. And yet, I see his anxiety and nervousness hidden beneath his excitement. I hug that little body close as he sobs over the littlest nothing, exactly the way I act when I am preparing for a huge change. He is my smart, articulate, polite, smiling kindergartner; he is my sensitive, emotional, sometimes fragile little boy. With rare exception (Leo's birth; an overnight church event for youth), he has never spent more than a few hours away from my care; above all, what is hardest for me is how much I will miss him, how I will miss our days together. I am grateful beyond belief for all those days we've shared together - all 1,896 of them.

At the beginning of the summer, I was determined not to let Aidan's preschool progress lapse as the lazy days of summer took over our structured preschool routine. I've included a "before" and "after" sample of his work, and his "kindergarten readiness" speaks for itself. It is my greatest comfort - in those moments I find myself fantasizing about keeping him home, delaying kindergarten and school, pressing the pause button of Time, I simply think of the evidence, of this proof that he is more than ready for his Career as Student. To hold him back would be nothing short of cruel, for his wings are primed and he is ready. To my loyal readers: "She pushed him... and he flew."

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