Tuesday, May 10, 2011

a birthday post for my little boy

This morning, I experienced a pretty surreal event.  This morning, I sat in the library of an elementary school, listening to a principal speak.  I've done this countless times, however the role I played today was very different than any I've ever played before.  Today, rather than a classroom teacher, I was simply 'mommy'  (Not that being 'mommy' is ever something that can be done 'simply').  Today, I didn't have to focus on anyone else's children, I didn't have to plan what I'd say to parents or what I'd teach my class.  Today, I didn't have to do any paperwork (other than fill out a name tag and write my email address on a sign-up sheet!).  The only responsibilities that I had were to pay attention to what the principal was telling the group about preparing your child for kindergarten, and watch my son's reaction towards and excitement for kindergarten.

Today I got the first true taste of what the next phase of my life will be.  Today I realized that in a few short months, I will have a child in kindergarten.  Today I realized that my handsome and sweet little boy is on the verge of becoming a 'school aged kid'.  For now, he's existing in a limbo between late toddlerhood and 'little boy hood'.  Today Gavin had a meet and greet at his school, an oppurtunity to become familiarized with the school he'll be attending this coming fall.  I had the opportunity to sit amongst other moms and dads, and reflect on the speed at which the past five years have passed...

May 9, 2006

Five years ago tonight, I was blessed with an amazing gift  My life suddenly had new purpose.  The events of that day were exhausting in many ways: mentally, emotionally, and of course, physically.  We had several tense moments where our faith was on the verge of being tested in multiple ways, but God was watching over us that night, as he has always, and blessed us with a 7 pound, 4 ounce handsome baby boy.  Five years ago tonight, I became a mommy. 

As I sat in the library today, I was watching Gavin's expressions and mannerisms, the little quirks that make him unique.  I listened as he told me he wanted to 'get outta here' because 'this place is boring' (we were waiting for the tours to begin).  And as we roamed the hallways of the school, I did so wearing a different set of glasses than I ever have walking the hallways of an elementary school.

I saw student work hanging all over the walls, student artwork covering nearly every available nook and cranny of the hallways, and students who were hard at work to expand their knowledge.  As we walked, the names on the pages blurred.  The faces in the classroom blurred.  They became ghosts of their true indentities and took the shape of my son.  I could envision Gavin's handwritten name adorning the tops of the pages, his initials haphazardly scrawled into the artwork, and his face looking back toward his teacher in wonderment of the information she was teaching the class.

I could picture my sweet 'baby' boy in a whole new role--a student.  The role of a student is one that I know well, however Gavin as a student is something that I'm only beginning to experience.  Preschool has provided me with work to hang on the fridge, stories at dinner time about what classmates did that landed them in time out, and many 'trial runs' at dropping off my pride and joy, my little boy, into the hands of other adults and entrusting his education and well-being in their hands.  Preschool has given him a wonderful base on which to build upon his educational future, but now, the *real* work begins.  Now comes reading, phonics, comprehension, story writing, math algorithms, science experiements, and history lessons.  Now, he becomes a student.

For five years, either Randy or I have been the primary source for Gavin's education.  We controlled what books he'd read, toys he'd play with, food he'd eat, friends he'd play with, and experiences he'd have (within reason of course, as some things are simply beyond our control).  We know as parents that it's our job to make sure his life is filled with rich experiences that help him learn and contribute to the man he will grow up to be.  Over the past five years, we have watched closely as our little boy grew and changed and became the big boy he is today.  It seemed to happen slowly while in the midst of it.  It seemed like the time for him to become a kindergartener was so far off in the distance, like we had loads of time before it was reality.  Then...bam!  Reality hits. 

He's growing up, and at a rate that I'm far too uncomfortable with.  Perhaps my current perspective is slightly skewed because for the past three weeks, Raegan's developemental stage has shined new light on Gavin's abilities and capabilities.  He's capable of being such an independent and responsible little boy.  He loves to help out, can keep himself entertained, and is much more self-sufficient than perhaps I'm ready for him to be.  But, on the other hand, his independence is a welcome sight for these tired mommy eyes.  I'm not ready for this stage, but I'm welcoming it, especially at times when I'm pre-occupied by the youngest princesses in the household.

I told Gavin the on Sunday night as I tucked him in that I'd probably cry on his birthday.  I'm proud of myself because while I did shed a few small tears, no one saw them (or if they did, they didn't notice).  The tears of sadness are in mourning for the times I'll only be able to treasure in photos; but the tears of joy, excitement, anticipation, and pride are the tears that fall from my eyes late tonight.  I know that we're doing our job well.  We've spent five years dedicated to his growth and maturity, preparing him for the times when he won't be with us so that he'll know how to interact, how to respond, how to function appropriately.  We'll never stop being dedicated to our son (or our daughters, obviously), however in a few months, we'll watch as the dedication we've shown up to the this point comes to fruition as he has a successful and amazing start to his school years.

Five years ago tonight my life changed forever...my life had new purpose...and my life became richer and fuller than I ever thought imaginable.  All because of one title, one person, one miracle.

Happy 5th birthday, Gavin!  Mommy and Daddy love you more than anything!  We are so proud of the little boy you have become!!

ziplining at his birthday party this past weekend

the best big brother in the world!

bowling on his birthday

his new-found hobby

1 comment :

  1. You have been transformed. Our kids do that for us...maybe even more than we do it for them.