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And just like that, my first baby was off to Kindergarten

5 and 1/2 years ago I gave birth to the most handsome baby boy.  My life was forever changed.  He taught me how to be a mom as first babies do.  And with each new milestone he faces, we learn together.   I try to put on my confident, strong mommy face and pretend like I know what I'm doing though I'm usually freaking out on the inside.  That's what we do with our first kiddos, right?  Good or bad they will forever have an inexperienced mommy with each first.

Today was one of those big new milestones for both of us - the first day of Kindergarten.  We've spent the summer working up to today.  My son has been full of excitement and questions.  We made a countdown chain as he could barely stand the wait these last few weeks leading up to this big day.  For me it has been all about reading and re-reading every document or email received from the school.  Checking and re-checking that we have all of the supplies and they are labeled accordingly.  And quietly wiping away my tears every time I thought about how fast babyhood and toddlerhood has passed us by.

Every time him and his younger brother were lost in their imaginary play this last week (which is a good portion of most days) I wondered how his brother will handle all of the time at home without his best buddy.  And then there is his one year old sister - she's been smitten with him since the moment she came home from the hospital.  He's the leader of the group. I know he will still have plenty of time with them outside of school and obviously his siblings will have each other but the dynamic will definitely change and for that I feel a little sad.  

For awhile I worried about him not knowing any of the kids in his class.  All of his friends are headed to different schools but I quickly realized this doesn't phase him.  Without a worry in the world, he told me he is going to meet new friends in his class and I realized that my concern is completely unwarranted and I needed to be cognizant that I wasn't introducing my own fears into this experience for him.

And then there was the whole bus thing.  My son has been determined to take the bus from the very first day.  He is actually the only kindergartner in his class that wanted to take the bus on the first day.  I offered to drive him numerous times but he declined.  Taking the bus is a big deal to him and I don't want to take that away from him.  So I called the school office, emailed with his teacher and talked to other moms in the neighborhood to reassure myself that there would be someone waiting at the other end and he could really do this.

As I packed his lunch last night I was watching him play in the family room and my mind kept flashing back to holding my newborn baby son.  It's just so unbelievable how fast they grow and how independent they become so quickly.  I had a pep talk with myself.  It was time to let go of any sadness I have been feeling on his previous phase of childhood coming to an end.  It was time to celebrate my brave little boy and his new phase.  This fearlessness and enthusiasm for his next big chapter is exactly what I've always wanted for him.  

This morning he got himself all ready wearing his new transformer shirt and Captain America shoes.  I had considered making him wear a nice collared shirt for the first day but decided that today is all about him, not me.  He should wear what he feels good about, right?


My husband and I stood at the bus stop with him and a "big kid" that had been taking the bus for years.  I was in awe of my son and the way he handled himself.  As the bus turned the corner he yelled out with excitement "Here it comes!"  I gave him a hug and didn't want to let go.  I had thought he may get scared and not want to get on the bus at the last minute but just like that, he stepped on to the bus and waved goodbye with a smile.  I felt an overwhelming sense of pride as the tears started flowing down my face.  My first baby was on his way to Kindergarten.  Watch out world.  Here comes my smart, confident, handsome son.

And then I did what any other first time kindergarten mom would do...

I followed the bus to school...

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