Tonight, after bathing the kids, I pressed my face hard into a blue terry bath towel still tugging on its hook - trying to slow down a trail of tears spilling down my chin.
Grayson starts kindergarten tomorrow.
He is ready, eager, and bubbling over behind those big brown eyes with excitement for the new school. I know he will do great, I'm not worried about his first day of school going poorly. I just didn't expect to feel so sad tonight.
When I ask myself why I'm crying I cannot come up with the truth.
The truth is somewhere between love, time, letting go, and pride.
I am so proud of my son who has more compassion in one expression than I can conjure up in an entire lifetime. He has given us perspective with his "Buddhisms" and ability to connect with things beyond this space.
"Who is older, Mommy - You are Daddy?"
"I am, Honey. I beat him by 10 days."
"Well, Honey. Sometimes whales end up back on the beach if they get hurt, sometimes I guess they don't."
"Yeah. I forgot, everything goes back some day. We all go back."
Go back. I don't really know what he means but holy smokes does he have me curious. Go back.
So you see these tears don't make sense. I cry because he is still so little even though he looks eight (my grandfather's long legs).
I cry because he has a new backpack and a new T-shirt he picked out because it looked "boy cool."
I cry because he is the only one around here who laughs at my jokes. And we have kickass impromptu ninja fights in the middle of a hike.
(Don't worry, I threw that shirt away after viewing these pics. wth? I bet you're more worried about the pants. Nope, keeping those bad boys. Lots of kick room.)
I cry because he is so good with his sister. What in the WORLD am I going to do with her from 9-4?! We don't even like each other. Oh we love each other tons, we just have trouble always appreciating each others perspective on you know, life.
I cry because he picked out leaves for me tonight during our leaf painting extravaganza.
Then endured the driveway paintfest just because he knew Daddy needed a study break.
(And let me take pictures of him even though he'd rather eat alfalfa sprouts.)
I cry because he loves cheese but not the color red anymore. His new favorite is green.
I cry because his hair stands up on the very top of his head no matter how wet the washcloth.
I cry because 4 o'clock is a long time away from 9 o'clock and so close to dinner time. What ever happened to half-day kindergarten?
I cry because he did this when I asked him to show me his very first tooth that he pulled himself when I was pretending to be a midwife.
(Look in the background to the left. Even Sadie seems concerned.)
My tears don't stop because I'm scared of what's next: all the things I can't see, predict, control, protect, warn, comfort, soothe, and love away when I am here and he is somewhere else.
This is my first rodeo.
I miss him so much already and he's not even gone.
But he's going.
And I have to put a cork in it and let him enjoy the ride.