Little blue shorts and a blue collared polo. LL Bean backpack with his name embroidered on it. His new cup with carrying strap over one shoulder. With jubilant hops he runs to the elevator to call it to our floor. Mom and Dad walking hesitantly behind him, he turns to beam that million dollar smile at us. The air inside the elevator is pulsing with his excitement. And seething with our apprehension barely contained. The five minute walk is the first one where E is hurrying us along instead of the usual situation of trying to get him not to stop and examine every ant, blade of grass, fence post, or stray cat along the way. Then we’re there, he is so happy and ready to go he barely has time to say goodbye before he’s off. I am quietly happy and nervous. The wife is sobbing tears of BSS (see previous post ). It is the much anticipated / dreaded first day of pre-school.
It is only two hours a day eight thirty to ten thirty. I have been eagerly awaiting this day since we started discussing it last month. Two whole hours to myself each day! I can go shopping in a timely fashion without saying no, bargaining to get moving, and restocking shelves from our carriage with things that mysteriously appear in it. I could actually have time to go to the gym, or swim some laps. I know have the opportunity to clean around the house without the first bit looking like I hadn’t touched it by the time I finish the last. Yet as I leave him at the door these all flee my mind and I am struck by my own bout of BSS. I don’t have the luxury of indulging it at the moment though because Mommy needs me to hold myself together so we don’t both make a seen. Its OK for Mommy, even expected. Daddy must put it away for awhile and deal with later.
The larger part of me is actually very happy. He needs this. Time to be away from Mom and Dad and be a little independent. Social interaction with other children his own age is essential, especially being an only child. I need this because (especially with Mommy working nights) the twenty four / seven Daddy-Emmet time while awesome can become overwhelming. It will be good for everyone. He gets to play, sing, and learn with others. They even do twenty minutes of early Mandarin introduction each day! How cool is that? But I can’t help but be a little lost as I spend my first morning at home without him.
Ninety percent of my anxiety is relieved when we go pick him up. He comes tumbling out of the door with the rest of his class, a huge smile splashed across his face. He talks the whole time we walked home. He was very exuberant about school and couldn’t wait to go tomorrow. Hopefully by then I’m just a normal happy Dad who takes advantage of his new found free time. He told us all about his day, how he had played with sea creatures, counted, and sang a song. Although he refused to sing the song for us. I was told “I can’t tell you Daddy its only for school singing and you don’t go to school.” Saucy little guy isn’t he?