Yesterday was a big day for William – the first day of school. Ever! I spent the morning with him and his mama, Ashley, as they hustled through their new morning routine and had a successful send-off to what will surely be an exciting year for both of them.
William is attending afternoon preschool, which is 2.5 hours a day. By the time I arrived, he had already sent his older sister off to school, played away the morning, and was snuggled into bed for a quick nap, surrounded by his sweet little stuffed friends.
He splashed through a quick bath, got dressed, and fixed his hair.
Lunch? Fresh strawberries and a bowl of chicken noodle.
William put on his nametag, showed off his tag on his backpack, and did a quick handwriting review – WILL (down up down up, straight line with a dot, down then over, and again – down then over).
William got packed up super duper early then kept an eye out for the bus.
“The feeling of being alone, if only for those few hours a day is hard to swallow after years of hearing little feet around the house. It’s going to be a huge adjustment on my Mama heart.” - Ashley
Unable to wait any longer, William headed out the door for pictures. It's tradition!
The walk to the bus stop was short, but was filled with all manner of interesting things – worms, ants, grasshoppers, and crickets – and William stopped to look at all of them.
Finally . . .
“Drop off . . . watching him step up on this huge bus, backpack larger than him and feeling so proud that he didn’t even look back. He’s a big boy now and I felt so overwhelmed with joy, seeing my preemie babe be so brave and tackling his first day with such excitement.” - Ashley
“For 6 years, my days have been filled with wiping tears, making meals, and scheduling my days around them. It’s scary, exciting, overwhelming. Mama bear just wanted to squeeze them tight and never let go, but I know that will be how I feel forever. I need to learn to let go, one step and heartbreak at a time.” – Ashley
William had an awesome first day making friends and singing Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Mama spent her two hours alone prepping dinner and folding laundry, and had just enough time to enjoy a giant cup of coffee in an empty house before it was pick-up time.
I remember this day for my family so well - I sat in the parking lot of Epiphany Preschool with tears in my eyes knowing with absolute certainty that my babies would need me and I wouldn't be there for them the way I had been for the past 4 years. They, of course, did not.
It's such a bittersweet moment for a mama - you watch little pieces of you walk away and face the world themselves - but you also get to see little glimpses of who they will become. I've watched my boy grow into a responsible, proud, kind, and sensitive young man. And my little girl is silly, and wild, and stronger than she knows.
Best wishes for an exciting year of new challenges and independence for William, Ashley, and all the mamas learning to let go this year!
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