Jack is scheduled to begin Kindergarten this week (he was actually supposed to begin today, but the teachers in Seattle have voted to strike regarding some wage disagreements, so the exact start date is unknown). But. KINDERGARTEN. REAL school. Yesterday, we had orientation. We met his teacher and his classmates and explored in his classroom.
In some sense, it seems perfectly fitting. He's ready for this. Yet, in another, I cannot actually believe we are exiting the early childhood chapter of his life and moving on to the next. It would be exhausting, of course, to remain in the baby stage, or the toddler stage, or any stage at all for that matter, but to be entering the school days stage with Jack is hard to wrap my mind around. How have we already arrived at this?
A few days ago, I found myself watching a video of him taken on the day after we moved to Seattle, he was 19 months old. I had to turn it off. My eyes burned from trying not to cry. My heart was swirling with so many emotions. Last week we received an email introduction from his Kindergarten teacher and I read it aloud to him. This time, my tears couldn't be stopped. As they were slowing welling up and trickling down my cheeks and I was stuttering on the words, Jack just sort of stared and then asked me if I was crying. I told him how much I love him and how sometimes watching him grow so big makes me cry. He gave me a kiss and a cuddle and told me "it's okay" and I know, somewhere deep down, that it really is.
I also know how lucky I am. How blessed my life is. I am so grateful that I hold so many things so dearly that time has become something of an enemy. It sure is hard to let go and to move on, but I can only imagine the joy and laughter and memories that the school days will bring to our lives. It is time for our next chapter to begin. And, maybe I am ready.