No Longer My Baby


     So, Ian started kindergarten this morning….

     Why so late? At our community school they stagger start our kindergarten kids; 1/3 of his class attended yesterday; he attends today; the final third on Friday and then all of them together on Monday and from then on…

     I have mixed feelings on it…I’m happy because he is SO ready for school…but a teeny bit of me is sad to realize that I wont have him popping into my office in the mornings to hug me when I’m working…
He was very excited. It is as if the day he had waited for all his life arrived. We got up this morning and discovered that the weather had turned cool; so the shorts and t-shirt I put out for him last night were discarded in favour of jeans and a long sleeved shirt.

     He had breakfast with Doug (another milestone, my Dougie is now “Doug”) and Tommy, just like usual. We’ve had countless mornings like this; he has attended nursery school every other day for the past two years. But somehow this morning was different.

     He brushed his teeth and put on his shoes and picked up his backpack so I could take a picture. I made him promise – no goofy grins. Then I took one with his brothers.

     Amazing how tall the three of them are now.

     He walked between his dad and me across the school grounds to the kindergarten class. It reminded me of earlier days when he could barely reach to hold both our hands; and swing between them. He saw his friend Shannon from soccer last spring and the two of them played on the structure until the bell rang.

     In the school, just like a pro, he took off his jacket and hung it up; put on his indoor shoes and grabbed his snack bag. He held my hand on the walk to the classroom but was content to sit with the other kids once inside.

     I watched the other moms, some of them undoubtedly sending their first baby off to kindergarten with tearful faces, and was pleased that I was smiling while reaching this landmark with Ian.

     And then the speaker in the room crackled, and the first strains of “O Canada” started. Attempting to sing, I had to stop, the words wouldn’t go past the lump in my throat. Ian stood at attention, singing beside me and I blinked back the tears that were suddenly in my eyes.

     And now, as I sit here working, I notice it is too quiet. No one is coming in my office asking for paper. No sounds of Little Bear are coming from the television. No one is looking for snacks or more juice. And I keep checking the time, willing time to jump ahead to eleven o’clock so I can pick him up.

     However, I realize that it’s a good thing.

     Ian can do grade one math and is reading words. His printing is wonderful and he loves to learn. He belongs in school.

     But, up until now, he was always mine. Soon conversations at home will be filled with “Ms. Roberts said…” and “Ms. Roberts doesn’t do it that way.”

     Today I begin the difficult task of sharing him with the rest of the world.


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