Thursday, May 24, 2012
Man Alive, I cried in front of 15 children, their teachers, and one set of grandparents this morning. Not on purpose so points awarded for non-premeditated melodrama. Things started off normal. Dressed myslef in gym clothes, dressed kids in clothes barely scored with toothpaste and dropped each child off in their respective preschool room. Then Grayson's teacher asked if I wanted to watch the kids' dress rehearsal for their preschool "graduation" since I won't be here for the real thing (long story, future post). Without hesitation I blew off my date with a treadmill to attend a private showing by my favorite four-to-five-year-old crew. They line up in a row. Oh my how they've grown! They watch their lead teacher with eyes of an orchestra awaiting a nod from its trusted conductor. Oh how patient they've all grown to be. She nods to them and they begin to sing with voices I don't recognize. These are not the little ping pong children I see zooming past me on the playground. These are not the whispery shy "Hellos" I once got in the elevator. These voices were strong, confident, and so beautiful I felt my eyes sting. Oh sh*t, I'm going to cry. Swatting tears away, I collect myself to enjoy the show. These children who all began the year as barely four have grown into these sophisticated five year olds who not only can listen to direction but who can also carry a tune in several different languages. Where have our babies gone? The teachers smile warmly at their group of hard workers and the relationship between student and teacher is so palpable my eyes sting again. There is so much love invested in this room that it breaks my heart and fills all the cracks with admiration, pride and fear of the unknown. Things will only get more complicated from here. Our children are growing up. No more naps, no more Play-Do, no more daily reports, no more after school playground with kids he's known for two years. They are leaving the warm nest of these phenomenally intuitive caretakers and for a few seconds I am unwilling to accept it: I want him safely here where I know what to expect. I will miss the raw innocence of my son. He is five almost six now instead of four kinda still three. Time is moving him and his friends forward by leaps and bounds. All of their legs seem more baby giraffe and less pudgy bear cub. All of their faces taking on angles and a glimpse of their eventual selves; their futures no longer ushered in by parental choice but instead carved out carefully by their own inner voices. Inner voices that are singing, soaring, and pushing past a world that I've grown to understand. A dress rehearsal, indeed. Now, let me grab my big girl drawers and get ready for the real thing...I hear it's a doozy.