Nathaniel has started preschool and Cubbies (the preschool program in the AWANA program at church). I thought I knew my little boy's personality well. He has always been an initially timid kid. Even as a baby, he would smile at a stranger, but was not about to allow some unfamiliar person hold him.
I thought he would have a hard time with preschool. I thought that he would hesitate going into the room and would be a little teary. I thought that perhaps he would be a bit more clingy the days following the beginning of preschool.
Nope. Not at all. In fact, on the first day of preschool he happily walked into the classroom, hung up his backpack, walked over to his carpet square and began looking at a book. He waved once and settled in like it was a regular part of his day.
I was a little sad, but then I heard a couple of kids who were in complete meltdown mode (including clinging to the door frame while the teacher tried to bring them into the classroom). I realized that I would rather have Nathaniel be happy to go in than super sad.
I am enjoying my time with Aaron one on one. Even though he usually naps the entire time Nathaniel is in preschool, occasionally I get to be with him while he's awake and he can have my undivided attention. We went shopping today and I got to hold him/wear him on my hip and it was nice to have him there with his giggles and smiles.
I got to the school a little early to pick Nathaniel up. It was okay because I needed to adjust Aaron's car seat to fit him and I used that time to do that and change a diaper. It's funny because I notice that there is a group of moms who come early and hang out by the playground watching their kids play. Some of the kids don't care that their moms are hanging out, and just continue playing, while a few seek their moms out and leave their play time to go talk to them.
It got me thinking. Am I a bad mom for not going over and saying hi to Nathaniel?
Here's my thoughts on this. I am raising up someone who is going to be an adult in 15 short years. I need to teach him how to be independent and do things on his own and I need to start now. It's little steps that will prepare him for adulthood. It would be ridiculous for me to wait until a magic age and then tell him to go and be independent. It's all a part of training up my child.
So, if letting him have his full 2 hours and 45 minutes at preschool without me there watching him is putting him on his way to becoming a functional adult, then hooray. It's the same thing with Aaron and letting him fall asleep on his own or play on his own for awhile. It's a journey of raising strong, independent young men.
And it breaks my heart that there will be a day when I'm not needed, but I am relishing the moments I still have.