Oh, my little boys are beginning preschool tomorrow. Noah is beginning his second year of preschool and Luke is embarking on his first; my noodly, sensitive Lukey. The good part is that they are both going half days and the two days that Luke will be there, Noah will be in the same classroom as him. Then Noah will go an additional half-day.
Still, the worries are flying! For instance, I KNOW Luke is totally clueless about what we are throwing him into. His experience with school has been the 10 minute wait outside of Noah’s classroom while we picked him up. I also KNOW Luke is going to pee his pants at least once. I have a change of clothes packed for both boys. I KNOW Luke is going to pick up all kinds of new germs and with two boys in school, it is inevitable that we will all be very sick this school year.
Then there are the “what-ifs.” What if Luke stresses Noah out being in the same room and Noah becomes very anxious? What if Noah ignores Luke and leaves him high and dry? I’ve already had a talk with him about looking out for his brother and being kind to him. Sigh. What if Luke has a traumatic experience and hates school and gives me a hard time about going every day?
My head is spinning. It has been for weeks. In my moments of prayer, I have been able to quiet my mind enough to hear partial answers. They are more contradictions that out-weigh my worries.
I KNOW this is a tremendous opportunity for growth and independence for Luke. It may take some time, but he will benefit from this. I KNOW there will be an adjustment period and in the long run, it will prove to Luke that we (Scott and I) really do have his best interest at heart and we won’t send him to a place that is scary. I KNOW that Luke will probably not be the only one to pee his pants. Maybe he’ll make a friend out of it (like the kid from Billy Madison). I KNOW that even if Luke does pick up germs, he’s building anti-bodies that he will need.
I also have taken into account how life really does change without me noticing. I have been very surprised at how these kids grow and become more independent right before my eyes. Take, for example, the fact a few months ago I thought I would be wiping Noah’s butt for the rest of his life. He has been so incapable of wiping his own rear end, I was sure I’d be going to high school with him to take care of it- disturbing thought. But suddenly, he has started doing it with no assistance. I also remember a time when I thought Noah would never learn the sounds of his letters. I worked with him so much before school started last year, I actually warned his teacher. She must have been laughing so hard when I walked away. Because, by the end of the year, he was actually starting to sound out words. He’s so smart! Why did I ever doubt him? And here’s Luke: he refused to go in our pool at the beginning of the summer. I thought, “He is going to be Siggy from ‘What about Bob?’ and I will likely be Bob, holding him by his shirt on the dock.” Then just last week, Luke asked for a life jacket and jumped right in submerging himself into the water and came up smiling. I thought I was dreaming.
When do we figure it out as parents? Our kids really don’t need us forever. It’s kind of selfish and egotistical to think that they will. Our children are all brilliant in their own way. We undermine them when we don’t let them grow or figure things out on their own. I know I am guilty of doing this all the time.
And as for the “what-ifs,” that’s all they are. There is no guarantee. As always, I can usually imagine far worse things than what will actually happen. When you live each day in fear worrying about the things that could go wrong, you miss out on all of the things that go right. So, with all of this positivity springing forth, I am going to head to bed. And tomorrow, I am going to put a lot of faith in God and pray like crazy. And I am going to hold Gracie and take in every single moment alone with her that I can. Because I swear, it’s only been a week since both of these boys were born. I have no idea how time is escaping without my noticing.
Good luck to all the moms and dads who are sending their kids back to school or off to school for the first time this week or next. We will all get through this together!