Our Monday through Friday routine involves taking my boy to school. We usually go through the drop off line, but a few mornings ago, we were running later than usual. When this happens, I pull into a side parking lot, park along the curb and he gets out. Then, I wait there and watch him run across a small field and into the front doors of his school.
This one morning, we did just that. And as I watched him run, his backpack jumped up and down on his back while his hands were in the pockets of his hoodie, trying to stay warm. I watched and watched him run and run. And I smiled and I’ll admit, I got teary eyed.
“I’m so proud of him,” I whispered to myself. As I said that, my mind flashed back to kindergarten when he was so afraid to walk in the school doors. When he would cry and wanted to stay at home with me. Everything within me wanted to keep him home, but, I also knew that wasn’t the best thing for him. I wanted to keep him close, I didn’t want him to be scared, I didn’t want him to cry. With all these emotions, I also knew that part of my job as his mother is to prepare him for the years to come. Preparing my boy involves encouraging him to face his fears, teaching him that life isn’t always going to be easy and showing him that there are things that we just don’t want to do, but sometimes, we do them any way. I want him to know how to thrive in different situations and with different people. I want him to be okay with people being different, having different ideas, beliefs and quirks. I want him to even celebrate those differences and not feel like just because someone believes something different, that it is wrong.
I’m proud of my boy because we’ve come a long way. It’s March, well into the school year, and he has not complained about going to school even once. We have worked through a few moments when he said other kids were being mean to him. And although I wanted to hunt those children down and give them a piece of my mind, that is not what I should do. What I should do is listen and give him the tools he needs to resolve those problems, and through that, I am building a foundation and helping him become the young man he is going to be.
He’s my first born. And he made me a mother. And he has taught me so much about the person I am and the person I am going to be.