Monday, January 5, 2009

"What Happens When Two Preschoolers are Asked to Sit for a Picture" OR "Insanity"

Year in Review

There were lots of days spent dancing and laughing...

with a few homemade super powers thrown in....

to another year of discovery....

and mischief.

Some of us moved on to 'bigger' things...

and carried others.

We told lots of stories....

and did some hard work.

We played pretend...

and shared lots of cuddles...

which made for a beautiful year for our family.

Tasmanian Devil

Holy crap! Does that last post say September 3?!? Ok. So it's been awhile. I'd apologize for my absence, but to be quite honest (and those of you that know me know that I can be nothing less, sometimes to a fault), I just didn't feel like writing. I've gotten to this place where writing about the daily banalities of life just doesn't seem worth it. And while I've had some very beautiful as well as heart-wrenching moments that were noteworthy, I just didn't feel like sharing them.

Today, I do.

My youngest child starts his "big boy" preschool tomorrow. He was "promoted" (and I use the term loosely here) from his toddler program and will begin a new academic adventure with the 3-6 year old crowd tomorrow.

He's excited.
He's oblivious.
He's ready.

I am not.

I am nervous.
And anxious.
And vulnerable.

"Vulnerable?!?" you ask. Yes, feeling vulnerable.

You see, my youngest to put this....he's.....hell. on. wheels. Yes, he's a handful...or two....and the birds in the bush, but in your closed hands, trying to peck their way out. If that doesn't paint an accurate picture for you, imagine the Tasmanian Devil from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. Now give him caffeine, sugar, and a snort of cocaine. That's Nicky.

Ok. I exaggerate just a litte. But he is a VERY rambunctious little boy.....who is going into a very orderly, quiet, concentrated Montessori classroom. You see what I'm getting at here?

I'm worried for him. I'm worried that he won't adjust. I'm worried about what his teachers will say about his behavior. And I'm worried that this somehow reflects upon me as.....a bad mom. Don't get me wrong. When he gets amped up, I redirect him. I use time-out. I model appropriate behavior. I provide him with new, more challenging activities. And all of this works to focus his attention. But in those moments, it is he and I, one on one. Not he and 18 other kids with 2 adults. I worry that he won't be able to rein himself in, and that the sheer volume of activity around him will only wind him up further, and that he won't be able to enjoy his time in school.

And so I feel very if my (and this is going to sound very vain, but bear with me) work is on work in progress. And while I may find it positively captivating in all its whirlwind glory, I worry that they won't see what I see. That all of my faults in raising this spirited little spirit will be exposed.

Raising kids is about truly wearing your heart on your sleeve.....for the world to see. And there are moments in their upbringing when you feel like it's beating there, in the great-wide open, exposed like a fair-skinned baby on a sunny day at the beach with no sunscreen. It's out there. Raw. Ready to blister at a moment's notice.

And I wonder,
have I done right by him?
Is he ready?
What mistakes have I made?
Have I given him all the tools he needs to succeed in this new adventure?
Or is there something that I have missed?
Have I held him too close?
Or not close enough?

And how will I ever let go of my baby's last vestiges of babyhood?

My boy is growing up. And while I'm thrilled to see him thrive and watch his world expand exponentially, I want so desperately to hold him close to me, to tuck my heart away in a safe place next to his, and hold on tight to what remains of my last baby.

I love you Nicky. Tomorrow's going to be a great day. And I'm so proud of the "big boy" you've become, even if it hurts just a little to let you go a little more.