If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling. ~ Frederick Buechner

16 August 2014

Growing Pains

This morning, our high school marching band kicked off the season with their annual march around the city. We live close to the high school, so they march by our street pretty early on. Each year, a neighbor has rung our doorbell to let us know when the band is about to come by. It is one of our favorite late summer traditions here.
It was yet another reminder that Little B will be starting preschool in less than ten days, and oh, the tears (on my part)!

We just had his pictures taken this morning, and he looked like such a big kid, in his collared shirt and chucks. I had just trimmed his hair last night, and this morning, he requested for it to be gelled, "just like Daddy's."

This afternoon, I watched him running around at a free gymnastics clinic, being a "super hero in training," and I kept catching glimpses of my little boy being a Big Kid. I mean, when did he learn to stand still in a line behind a teacher? Or follow a string of instructions?

This entire week, he has been showing signs of possessing a degree of independence, self-confidence and courage that I didn't know he had.
He happily plays by himself now, with lots of pretend conversations.
He bravely went up those long stairs and down the slide repeatedly, without me, waiting for his little buddy R to catch up with him, cheering him on. It reminded me of his toddlerhood compassion and encouragement and made me realize that those traits are still there, buried in preschool energy and emotion.
And at some point this summer, the hesitation of leaping into the water from last summer disappeared, and the fearlessness of early toddlerhood returned.
One of my most precious moments from this past week was right after his shots. He sat in my lap, arms around my neck, head on my shoulder, whimpering, "I just really didn't like that, Mommy." He needed cuddles, and just for a few minutes, he was my baby again. But then he hopped down, happily waved at the nurses on the way out, politely asked the receptionist for a lollipop, and asked after his sister (who was with a friend during the appointment).
He asked these firefighters, who had stopped by the splash pad to visit with the kids, if he could take a photo with them.
And later that afternoon, when he got rewarded some screen time, he asked his baby sister if she wanted to watch with him. I don't normally let her have any screen time, but it was so sweet of him that I let her lie next to him for a little while.
And now, as I'm filling in the calendar with dates for school-related events and reading through the parent handbook again, I'm finding myself being That Mom, tearing up and looking at baby pictures and just being overly emotional in general.

I mean, really, how has it been over three years since he was this little?

It is going to be some kind of crazy difficult to not cry when I drop him off that first day.

Mama's having some growing pains.

I'm glad to know I'm not alone.