Two nights ago Matthew woke up at 3am crying. He does this occasionally after a bad dream or when it is "too dark". He climbed into bed with me (Bill was away for work) and fell back to sleep. I, however, did not.
It finally hit me. Next week he will start preschool. My baby.
Eight years ago when I dropped off Billy at preschool with Mary and Tommy in tow I had been so envious of those other moms who were dropping off their youngest child. They had those two and a half hours of free time. Alone. To do whatever they wanted. It seemed like a dream.
Now here we are and that time has come for me. Only I'm not looking forward to it nearly as much as I thought I would. In fact, I'm pretty sad about it.
So, lying there in bed next to Matt, I cried. I cried because for the first time in 12 years I will be alone. I cried because, although nothing is absolute, this stage in my life may be over.
I had to compose myself because when we woke up later that morning we were off to meet his teachers and see his classroom. He's been very "anti" preschool and held on very tight to my hand. But with a wonderful, talented, ice-breaker of a teacher's aide, he let go of it.
He walked away from me and it was hard to watch. I know I should be grateful. I know I will eventually enjoy those hours by myself. But it always hurts a little when they need you less and less.
My, how our perspective can change. Who'd a thunk it?
So, here are some pictures of the open house. I figured I might be too busy fumbling with tissues on his first official day on Monday, so I better take pics now.