I want to capture this day. Little N's first day back to preschool.
We have a perfect fall day in Seattle. Pale blue sky. Bright warming sun. Cool breezes. The wind chimes gently ring the softest little hymn of joy. Airplanes rumble bass overhead and draw our attention upward.
Little N wakes me with an energetic, "Hi!" The room is still dark but he snaps on the overhead light. Then climbs up onto mommy's bed. Coffee appears on the nightstand and my husband exits the room. "Thanks hon."
We have a couple of hours to hang out before it's time to leave for school. Daddy showers and shaves. Little N gets a bath. They both eat while I start in on a second cup of coffee. Kiddo is dressed in an old shirt and a new pair of super soft wide legged dark green pants that I just got for him at the Goodwill this weekend. He looks comfy and I want to snuggle him. But he's moving around.
Finally we all head out the door to school. We walk the 5 blocks hand in hand in hand. Lance and I talk about going back to school and name some of the old friends that Little N can expect to see again. Kiddo is doing great. He looks up at me from time to time, "Hi!"
The crossing guard steps out into the street as we approach the crosswalk. As we pass him I tell N, "say thank you." "Thank you!" he chirps. The man smiles, "You're welcome." Little N echoes softly, "you're welcome."
We walk right up the stairs and into the back door of the school. Miss B lets us into the classroom even though we're a little early. Little N keeps hold of my hand, smiling, and walking round and round in the circle time area. L starts to tell Miss P (occupational therapist) everything he can remember about what Little N has learned over the summer. Little N can count to 10 and sometimes to 20... I chime in that kiddo can ride a bike with training wheels and has learned some more animal walks. (well, she is the OT. this is good stuff!) Miss P invites N to sit at one of the tables. We head back to the play-do table and I open a can of blue play-do. N plays with it while L, ever the proud father, continues to share about soccer lessons and playdates. Little N can blow a horn and play drums and likes jazz...
Looking down the hall, N sees the line of children coming into the building with Miss B and Miss R. "I see X." He tells us. And as the children walk down the hall holding on the rope he says, "Like a train." Miss P notices. "He's talking more!" she says softly, her face conveying the emphasis. The funny way we do when we try to talk about our children in front of them. "I remember last year he would repeat what we said but now he's commenting." L and I are beaming at the significant progress kiddo has made. "Miss K will like this!" (speech therapist)
With the other children in the room and loading their cubbies with jackets and backpacks it's time for us to leave. Little N starts crying. I'm stuck. I want to stay. I want to comfort him. I know I need to leave but his grief is palpable. It feels so real to him and so also to me. Miss R scoops him up and Miss B gently tells me good-bye. L draws me out of the room. I know Little N is ok, but he doesn't know he's ok and if I could just stay there and make him ok... then he won't know he's ok already, without me. And he is.