Eighty percent of me is thrilled out of my mind. I could not have scripted a better experience. I love his teacher. She’s loving and fun, but absolutely no nonsense. The kids at his school are really great. They are smart and clever. They challenge him. They are his friends. The parents of these kids have become a part of our village. They love our son. They hug him and kiss him on top of the head. They also thump him on the head when he needs it. When we dropped off his school supplies yesterday at the back-to-school popcicle party, the Monkey walked down the halls like he owned the place. He is confident and happy and excited to be there. What more could a parent wish for their child?
It’s just that there’s this other small part of me. The other 20 percent. It aches. This is a profound moment. A third of his childhood is over. I have no regret about how we’ve spent it. I was there for his first steps. Charlie was there the first time he swore. (That wasn’t exactly a proud moment, but still…) Despite my irrational concerns, he was, in fact, potty trained before he went to Kindergarten. I’m just sad.
He is my only child. This is his only childhood. Today he asked to hold my hand while we walked into school. I just don’t think there are many of those day left. On the way out, I held Charlie’s hand. Because that’s whose hand I’ll hold long after my son’s childhood is gone forever.