The time has come. Three (and a half) years have gone by. Declan is headed to full time Preschool. And I am in no way ready for this.
Recently I read an honest and heartfelt post (link here) from Shannon of Moms Without Labels and it left me in tears-not only because it was beautifully written but because I could relate so much. She took all of my emotions and eloquently wrote them down… only they were her own. Thank you Shannon for inspiring me to share my own story about Declan’s last days at home and the transition back to school.
Here we go….
Three (and a half) years ago I became a SAH mom and while that was never my plan I can not imagine my life having gone any other way. Declans needs (medical) were too great for me to continue to work- not only for his sake but for the sake of the students I was teaching. When Brendan and I made the decision for me to quit my job and be home with Declan I was nervous, scared and full of anxiety. I was paralyzed with grief over his birth so I knew I owed it to him and to myself to commit my life and my being to raising him the best way I could. For me that was to be at home with him. To protect him, to shelter him and to nurture his growth. In the last three (and a half) years we have traveled the world, experienced heartache and pain, relished in meeting “normal” milestones and developed a bond that is unbreakable. I was in no way prepared for the deep emotion, love and fulfillment I would get from being home with Declan.
So, it is time for him to start FULL TIME preschool. Monday thru Friday, All day. He is sooooo ready for this new chapter. I am soooo not! He loves exploring and playing with other children, he is kind and sweet to his friends and he is ready to learn a thing or two about school. As one of my friends told me today- “it is time for him to fly”. But what if he is not ready??? What if I am not ready (a more likely scenario)??? As I embrace the last few days of summer with Declan I am holding onto each moment, even the bad ones. I know that at some point I will miss his whining, at some point I will miss his questioning, at some point I will miss his clingyness to me, at some point I will wish he was not in school. But the time has come and he is headed to school (pre-school, but still). Now, Declan has been going to “school” for close to two years but that was part time, that was temporary and it was a convenience for me not a stepping stone for him. Up until now his time away was always for my benefit…. this time it is about him. And that scares me.
That is what I need to remember when I am missing him on a Tuesday morning, that is what I need to remember when I am upset he is not with me going to grocery store (believe it or not he and I both loving doing that together) and I need to remember that when I am selfishly missing my companion.
My dad once said to me that parenting ends at about 4/5 years old and from there you wait and watch and hope they remember everything you tried to teach them. The amount of truth this holds, even at this point, is amazing. For three (and a half) years I have tried to teach Declan to be kind, to have manners, to never give up, to have confidence in himself, to love, to be independent, to have compassion, to trust himself and others… I have tried to teach him how to thrive once I am not there.
Here’s hoping that happens!!!
Photos: Annelise Rothe Photography
At the heart of it all I am so blessed and lucky to have had this time with him. After consistent reflecting I am so grateful for the life I am blessed to have and this transition is just another blessing in disguise. I am lucky to have a son who, despite a tough start, is thriving. He is a mischievous, lovable, curious, passionate, sweet, impossible, completely normal toddler. He loves trucks, Finding Nemo, not eating his dinner, swimming and spending time with his dad. His passion for music, reading and exploring are what keep me sane each day and will drive him to be successful in this new chapter. He is becoming independent to a fault. I The time I spend with Declan is going to change and so each day I am even more committed to savoring each and every moment. And how incredibly fortunate I have been to spend everyday with him- to stay home with him has been an honor. It has been the greatest gift I have ever received… he is the greatest gift of my life.
It’s time for him to fly…. fly free sweet boy!
Shop the POst:
(Declans outfit is Zara and therefore unlinkable but I provided similar products)