I spent Sunday night holding Tyler until he went to sleep and then held him some more. I came to realize in that moment that there would not be that many more days he would want me to hold him while he drifted off to sleep. There would not be that many more days that he longed to twirl my hair and have me wrap my arms around him so he felt safe. The days slip away all too fast and you realize this in an instant. So after Chad took him to his bed I did what any other mom would do on the night before your baby starts Kindergarten, I cried and then cried some more. Not because I was sad but because I was proud, excited and nervous all at once. I reflected on the days when we first brought him home and all those feelings that are surrounded by those moments. I reflected on the days when he went to preschool for the first time and the separation issues that were all too real. I reflected on the last year that I ended my career so I could soak in every moment of him while he was still "little". And I reflected on how I am immensely grateful that I had the opportunity to be a full time mom and soak it all up. Chad and I reflected and cried together which was great.
So now it is Monday and I have my game face on. My little guy is ready for this new journey and I can see in his eyes that he is terrified, excited and curious. With tears streaming down his face, he made the walk to the top of the hill to catch the bus and we were right by his side. As I stood in line with the other kids and Tyler standing with me, I was trying to be encouraging as I was breaking on the inside. Those little tears almost killed me and I so wanted to scoop him up and snuggle on the couch. But, I didn't. The bus stopped and the neighbor took him by the hand, his big 8-year old hand, and told Tyler that it was going to be a good day and everything was going to be alright. The doors closed and in that moment I knew he was going to be just fine. I came home with Chad and Sarah and cried some more. Nobody can prepare you for the feeling you have when your baby rides away with a stranger to an unknown world. So you just trust that they will be there to give him a hug when he needs it and encourage him that it will all be okay in a way that only you can.
I have never longed to see a bus drive down my street the way that I have today. The absolute best feeling was to see those doors open and my smiling, full of pride 5 year old bounding down those stairs. He smiled from ear to ear and told me of all the friends that he made that day. How he went to the cafeteria and ate lunch, he went to recess and music, learned math and reading while I sat at home wondering. I am so proud of Tyler. He is such a sweet, caring, loving little boy with just the right touches of bravery and apprehension. And each and every day he carries my heart in that book bag. Here are a few pictures of the day:
Waiting for the bus.
Sarah was excited until he left.
Heading for the bus line.
Nervous getting on the bus.
Right before I completely lost it!
Waiting for her best friend to come home.
Best thing I saw all day :)
Tyler in all his silly glory!
Love you buddy to the moon and back! Cannot wait to see what this year holds for all of us.