It wasn't until you stood on the front porch, headed for the storm door, that I realized what was happening: "My baby was going to school."
My baby ...
Going to school ...
The Marilla Cuthbert Academy for Unspeakably Charming Children.
It's a place with a lot of history for me.
The place I'd attended as a tot.
It's even a place I lived (in the tenant apartment) for a brief time in my 20s.
The place you'd been toted as an infant while your sister was a student.
You wasn't nervous in the least. We'd been talking about it all summer. You'd been there before. You remembered the rice table, and cleaved to it like a long lost friend.
I knew you would be fine without me. You're not the type to cling and demand my attention. You are a play-by-yourself kind of guy.
It's the play-by-yourself feature that makes me worry about how well you will eventually play with others. There's a part of me that hovers, knowing that it is possible for the fierce in your nature to come out.
Three other students join you at the table. You are the smallest, though not the youngest. I notice your shoulders sink down even lower and hear the smallest little growl. You want the table all to yourself, but you know school isn't really your kingdom just yet.
No one else could hear your frustration.
"Sharing," I bend to whisper in your ear, "is part of being in school. You will find that playing is much more fun when you share with friends."
Soon the table was crowded with children. You kept playing side by side.
I told you I was going to work, and you stretched to kiss me. "Bye, Mom."
"Is he going to be OK with you leaving," asked his teacher, I headed for the door.
"Oh, he's already kissed me goodbye," I told her. "He's all yours now."
But you're still my baby. No matter how tall you grow.
Love and happy learning,