I’m tempted to think it is because I am an unemotional, cold-hearted jerk.
Maybe you are tempted to think it is because I never carried him in my belly and my attachment is not as strong.
Neither of those are true. (Although I’ve heard rumblings that my kids think I’m a jerk.)
As I backed up from that little preschool room, straining to catch a last glimpse of his little black curls, I had a lump in my throat.
On the drive home I reminisced about how he used to fit so nicely on my lap.
I wished for one more day of itty-bitty-hood so I could wear him all squished up in his baby wrap.
He was the first baby our family had seen after a seven year drought and you had better believe that this kid has been doted on and cuddled more than your average tiny.
There are a lot of sappy writing this time of year and they are beautiful and need to be appreciated. Please do, Parents.
But I think parenthood also deserves another voice this September.
Here is why I am not crying on this first day of preschool:
The best is yet to come.
As much as I adore the baby phase and smooch all over toddlerhood, I also have an appreciation for the preteen phase and love watching our teenagers flesh out their destinies.
For us newly preschooled parents, we haven’t lost babyhood as much as we have gained a season of beautiful becoming. I am not mourning the best stage of childhood, only a stage. The rest is incredible too.
Kids are powerful.
We have decided, my husband and I, that our kids are destined to do great things and that everywhere they go, they bring the goodness of Jesus. Preschool is one of the very first places their feet explore without us. That classroom is a better place because our powerful world changers enter. It feels like the starting gun just went off and our little runners are sprinting down the track.
They may cry some tears and they may even pitch a hissy, but they are influential packages of dynamite just the same.
It’s not a demotion.
The Really Tiny Stage is marked by bleary eyes and busy hands because they desperately need us. They can’t even pour their own toasted oats without us. Ok, technically they can but ain’t nobody got time for that mess. Sometimes the shift of needing us less feels lousy.
But what if our hands stay just as busy as ever? I am called to speak truth into preschool ears over breakfast and be intentional with middle schoolers on weekends and use my bleary eyes to see into the souls of my high schoolers at night. Demotion? Not a chance.
Ok, you got me. After swallowing the lump in my throat, I sprinted to the local donut shop for a chocolately-chocolate cake donut. Which I ate in silence. Without sharing a crumb. I also bought two miniature pumpkins whom I promised seven whole hours of untouched perfection.
Come on now, parents.
Amen and hallelujah.
Maybe you sobbed after your drop-off.
It’s ok. You are a fantastic parent.
Maybe you swallowed a lump and then ate your donut around a smug smile.
It’s ok. You too are a fantastic parent.