Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Empty Carseat

Easton started pre-K last week. I had dreaded that day since the day he was born. The day he would be big and no longer a "little" boy. The day that the changes words (not usually nice ones), new attitudes (not usually nice ones either), and a different outlook on life in general. When Britton and Landon started I worried also. How would the "outside" world treat them and how would they respond? Are they big enough to stand up for themselves if they need to? I had been able to control what they saw and heard up until they went to school and just like that...I have no control. I am not complaining...don't get me wrong...I have been so blessed to be able to stay home with each of them for their first 4 years and many parents don't have that luxury. But it also makes it so difficult to "let go" when I've held on for so long.

Easton had been dreading preschool almost as much as me since his birthday back in March. He woke up the day of his birthday crying because he didn't want to turn 4 because 4 meant preschool. After a few weeks, we were able to convince him that school didn't start until Sept.

Sept. 8: Crying for 2 hours before bed. "I don't want to go to school tomorrow. I want to stay home with you. You will be all alone. I DON'T want to go." Over and over and over again until he cried himself to sleep.
Sept. 9: We got up and got ready. He kept mentioning he didn't want to go, but as long as I kept him moving and his mind on other things, no crying. Chad went with me to drop him off. No crying. He went in his class, hung his backpack on his hook, took out his folder and sat at his table and colored. Just that easy. I was sad and relieved and happy all at the same time. I saved my tears until we got out the door and thank goodness for really big sunglasses.
Chad drove me back home and went on to work while I sat in the living room and had my breakdown (which only lasted about 30 min.). I spent the rest of the morning on the phone, so my mind was occupied. Getting in the car to go pick him up was so strangely quiet. I turned around before I left to make sure he was buckled and realized for the first time in over 10 years I didn't have a child in the carseat. I've always had someone with me. Britton was born 10 years ago and then Landon came 18 months later. Then Easton came when Landon was 4 before he started preschool and there hasn't been a break in all that time where one of my babies hasn't been in a carseat. For has been a sad realization AND a nice retreat. He's only at preschool for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. It's not like he's gone all day, every day. One of those 3 days I take a class, but on the other 2's just me. So far...I've shopped. I need to be home cleaning the house or doing something productive, but to be able to go to a store and not have to drag someone out of the clothes racks or listen to complaining about "can this be the last store" is like a little gift. I miss my kids terribly when they are gone, but this quiet that I have discovered is becoming a really precious treasure that I look forward to each week.

I picked him up and the first thing he said, "The playground is HORRIBLE!". I couldn't help but laugh. He said is was so "babyish" and he would never play on it. So far, he still hasn't. He doesn't talk in class, but he will shake his head yes or no. He wouldn't sit on the carpet during storytime the first 2 days, but I bribed him with a sucker and he sat on it Mon. and today. He's so stubborn that I wonder if he will talk to his teacher at all this year. One thing I don't have to worry about with him is talking too much!