Friday, August 26, 2011

The Last Day of His Penultimate Year

That title is for The Bob. I have never met a person who loves using the word "penultimate" more. Today is the last day for Cooper as a younger preschooler. He has one more year of preschool left, and then on to the show. The big time. But for one more year he is still a preschooler.

Every year he has been alive has been a year of change, some quite obvious, like walking, talking, losing the first tooth (that second one is hanging on for all it's worth). This year the changes have been more subtle for the most part. Every morning I go in to get him up for the day it seems like the legs are a little longer, the face a little less round and pinchable. There is a maturity to his face that surprises me, and makes my chest tighten a little because it is one more step toward being grown up, independent, the constant movement away from us, his parents. The people who have been needed so constantly, for everything and yet, needed less and less each day.

This morning I told him it was time to go to the bathroom and do his business to get ready. There was no argument, no dawdling. "OK! I don't want to be late!" he yelled as he dashed off to the bathroom. I went to get his clothes for him to change into and he announced he would change his clothes himself. This is something he has been capable of doing for a long time, but often requires assistance if I want to leave the house in less than an hour from that moment in time. Today he was in his clothes lickety split and even put his socks on. His shoes were downstairs or he probably would have had those on too.

To see him excited and happy to go to school is gratifying. I have never questioned that continuing to work and send him to day care/preschool full time was the right decision. Financially we could not afford to do it any other way, and home day care just didn't seem the right fit for him. He has been so happy at The Barn, and they have done a great job caring for and teaching him. It is just nice to have the validation of our decision so apparent.

It is what is supposed to happen, this growing and moving away from who he has been and toward whom he will become. It is the exact definition of bittersweet. I don't have any clue what the next two years much less the next 15 or 20 years will hold. I am not going to worry about it. I am going to try to embrace the moment, the memory of him leaping around the playground this morning, working out his Batman/Spiderman/Ironman moves. My little superhero.

1 comment:

Audubon Ron said...

penultimate - had to go to the dictionary on that one.