There is a war going on inside of me.
On one side is the fact that I want to raise independent, socially well-adjusted, polite and happy children who are not afraid to be whoever they want. On the other side is the emotion that I want to love, smother, helicopter parent, lock my children in the home and move to Neverland where my little boys will never ever grow up.
I drag my feet at most things that scream that my little baby might just not be a baby anymore. Fitting him for walking shoes, signing him up for soccer, potty training and the dreaded move to the big boy bed have all but burst the lump in my throat as I willingly lose the battle with my emotional parenting. There is a greater war to be won. Brooks and Lucas have to grow up. Sob.
So today, finally, after two years of fighting the good fight, my emotional side waved the white flag of surrender.
Brooks went to school!
To be honest, like most big jumps toward independence, Brooks made this decision for me. We left him in the church nursery for the first time. His ability to hang with mom and dad has come to a slamming end with him yelling out,
during the silent part of the prayer of confession and marching up and down the aisle at Easter didn’t help either. Time for the nursery, little man.
“No leave, Momma. No leave.”
“Bud, its only one hour. And I will be back for you. I promise.”
“No Pwwweaze Mama!”
I tried pointing out the fun toys and crafts as the tears in his eyes overflowed down his cheek. I waved goodbye and walked out of the room. Brooks stood at the door crying for the entire hour, and by the time we got back he was so upset that even Dada couldn’t turn that frown upside-down. I finally realized on the drive home from church that in the last two years, I have never left Brooks while he was awake.
For two years, he has been my little sidekick. My best friend. But let’s be honest. Brooks isn’t my best friend, he is my son, and I am not doing him any favors not adjusting him to the real world. I know a lot of people would argue that this means that Brooks is just NOT ready to be left. But to me, I get to see this amazing little personality and spirit that is being held back by anxiety and fear. I want to hold his hand while he overcomes his fears, and not be forced to rip the band-aid off when the time comes that he HAS to go to school. all. day. long. Time to slowly work on socially adjusting this boy.
After a ton of research, We chose Montessori for Brooks because it is perfect for his personality. I love the toddler class for him, and his teacher could not have been more perfect. Just during his interview class, he cried when it was time to leave. I was a complete wreck about leaving him after the whole church issue. He cried just as before when I left him in his class, but this time his sweet teacher swooped him up as I turned to walk away. I drove home crying myself. 20 minutes later I got a call from his teacher, Miss Whitney. Miss Whitney is the kind of teacher you pray that God will bring into your child’s life. She is absolutely perfect. On the phone, she said that Brooks was fine, stopped crying, and was busy playing at the water pouring station. I got there 30 minutes early his first day and watched him play on the playground. He was running around screaming and laughing. I seriously have never seen him have so much fun.
That night he cried at the door wanting to go back to school, and every time I ask him about school he says…
I have to say in the months he has been going. I have seen the greatest change in him. He obeys more, listens more, sings a lot more, and is just a little more independent in a really good way. And even better, that independence is building a confidence in himself.
He was just ready. Simple as that.