dear gus,

tomorrow you is your first day of kindergarten. i realize your life has been barreling towards this moment since you took your first breath out here in the world, but somehow this snuck up on me anyway. which, considering your papa has been talking about what school you might go to since before you turned 2, is something of a surprise. maybe it was denial, but i think it was more of just my believing this day would come, just not yet.

you are so ready for this. so ready. you can barely sleep tonight for the excitement. you met your teacher on friday and a few of your school- and classmates and were painfully shy, and yet you still remain convinced this is one of the coolest things that will ever happen to you. well, i am sure that it is and i am sure you will love it, too. you are ready to make new friends (even if it feels a little tricky) and you are ready to LEARN things (even though you “don’t think there is much they can teach [you] about math”) and it is definitely time to hand over the reins to other grownups to do the bulk of your day-to-day learning.

i am nothing but excited for you. a small part of me wishes i could be there to hold your hand until you overcome you shyness, but i know that you can do this, too, without me, and i am not convinced my being there will help anyway (in fact, it might make you take that much longer to warm up). another part of me is so very curious to see what you are like, out of my sight, with someone else in charge. but at the same time i am happy for you to have these moments all to yourself, to have your own life, away from me, where you get to be “just gus” and not my son. i may not feel quite ready for this big step, but i never really feel ready for big steps, so don’t let that hold you back!

of course for me i feel a bit sad. a little shocked. weren’t you just born? weren’t you just so small? when did you stop fitting into my arms? i feel that this, too, will be my always-feeling about my tiny loves, this bewilderment that time has passed so quickly and we are up, over, and through another milestone. but i am okay with that. i think that is just part of what is being a parent. i am always am excited for you to grew and do and be new things just as i am always wanting you to just slow down please. i still believe sometimes that if i close my eyes tight enough when i open them you can be a teeny wee lad and we can start this all over again.

well, i suppose i don’t really want you to be 3 again. what a trial you were then! and the newborn stage, however wrinkly and amazing, is really kind of a drag. and so i guess i don’t really want you to grow backwards. i just want to be able to scoop you up into my lap and smother you with kisses for as long as possible.

luckily, that milestone has not yet passed.

happy first day of kindergarten, my big little one!




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