I was thinking about posting something a little heavier. something that I’ve been on the fence about sharing with you all, but I’m not entirely sure I want to do that today. Today has been a pretty great day. The start of a four day weekend usually helps improve the mood. I think instead, I’ll delve into the world of parenthood, AGAIN.
The first two weeks of school for Jack have been with mixed reaction. Some days I couldn’t be more proud of Jack. Others, we get stuck on his refusal to walk into school by himself. Those are the days that require multiple pulls from the now empty Jack Daniels bottle*. (Note to self, buy more whiskey)
While in my last post I discussed the difficulty of the parent letting go, being able to see our children walk off into the abyss on their own was difficult. Now the tables have turned. It’s definitely a little more difficult for Jack to let go. It’s something I have to say I didn’t really expect. I thought he would glady make his way away from the same people he goes through life with. What I didn’t take the time to do was concentrate on how he feels. His comfort level. Bottom line: He’s scared to let go. To walk in by himself.
Now once he’s in, he’s fine. He turns into a regular 5 year old, willing to learn, play, and kick ass in the classroom*. (Note to self, don’t tell the kids to kick butt in school today-they take that literally. Yes, we found out the hard way.)
But he can’t let go. He’s spent the majority of his mornings with his mother and his brother. It’s what he knows. Sure he goes to daycare, but he’s always had his brother there. My son, Jack, is a creature of habit. He lives off the status quo. If anything changes the status quo, he gets rattled and the first place he goes is emotion. It’s been hard not to get frustrated with him.
Today I was lucky enough to have the day off and was able to take him to school myself today. Lucky enough to give my wife a break from the emotional chaos that the school drop off has been. Today I woke up a bit early and got things ready for Jack’s favorite breakfast. He got french toast sticks (that he discovered at school by the way,) and bananas. He was so proud of his special breakfast. He gladly dominated the hell out of those milky, egg dipped slices of cinnamon sugar vanilla bread. Shortly after, he gladly got dressed and was happy to have about 15 minutes to play before he went. He was comfortable this morning. He wasn’t thinking about letting go. He was living in the moment. He was happy.
The drop off went so much better than i ever could have imagined. No tears. He came back for one more kiss but then he was on his way. Just him and his backpack into the abyss. He walked into that school proud. Waving the entire way, but proud.
I think what made the difference wasn’t me taking him instead of his mom. I think he was comfortable this morning. He didn’t spend time dreading something he knew he had to do. Instead, he just lived. And when it came to the big moment, he stepped up to the plate and hit one into the third deck. Seeing him do that on his own today made me proud. Made me realize that this isn’t permanent. That each day is a day to learn and grow. And while we will all have set backs, we need to do the best we can to live each moment. To enjoy where we are, to be happy where we are. But when our time comes, when it’s our turn, we need to step into the box and swing away. To not be afraid to swing at the first pitch with runners on, down 1. Don’t live life expecting not to swing. When the big moment comes up, hack away, big guy.