Just yesterday, I woke up and got my son out of his crib to start our day. We had rice cereal and then he sat in his Jumparoo while we watched the morning sports recap on TV. There’s only one problem with this story.
That wasn’t yesterday!
It was 3 years ago and I have no idea where the time in between that went. In fact, just yesterday I woke up and my son was already downstairs by himself, watching TV and playing quietly with his toys.
Where did that time go? On top of all of this, I now face the reality that in less than a month, he will be going to school for the very first time. I actually think he is the only one in my house who is ready for this next chapter of his life. I certainly am not!
I’m a pretty laid back guy. I try not to overreact or worry about situations with the kids but for some reason, the prospect of him being out in the world on his own is something that just doesn’t sit right with me. What if he gets scared or hurt or can’t do up his zipper or bullied?! Who’s going to be there to protect him and ease him through all the changes as they happen?
Who, I ask!?
I’ve already got my first day drop off routine all laid out too. It involves me being the tough Dad/Husband who consoles my sobbing wife as we push our son through the gates to his new home away from home. It possibly also includes me convincing her that we need to walk away even if he is crying and doesn’t want us to leave. That’s the classic daycare/school advice after all and I definitely buy into it.
There’s also one more thing that I am not scheduling for that day but that I am certain will happen.
Daddy is going to cry.
That’s right, even tough guy Daddy sometimes gets so overwhelmed with emotion that there is no way to hold those pesky tears back. Ever since having kids, my normally dormant water works have flowed like Niagara Falls. I don’t regret it or feel like less of a man, it’s just a new phase that I’m trying to get used to. Sometimes it only takes a look or an “I Love You” and I get all welled up inside.
That’s my story. My son is growing up way too fast and there’s nothing I can do about it except enjoy every single moment. Oh, and write about it so I have those memories forever, haha. I secretly know he’s ready to take that next step but there’s a small part of me that wants him to stay just the way he is now. You know, the kid that can’t wait for Daddy to get home from work so he can have his hug!
In the meantime, I am going to do everything in my power to hold on to the last bits of innocence before sending him off into the world alone. My little man, all grown up! And his Daddy, welling up with pride.
Go get ‘em buddy!