This is it. The eve of your first day of Kindergarten.
This day has haunted me since they placed you into my arms five years, two months and 27 days ago.
It was on that day, way back in May of 2009, that after eighteen hours of labor, and a hurried emergency c-section, that my overly medicated self took one look at your adorable pink smooshy face and proclaimed that: No; you in fact, did not look like an alien at all.. you looked like a bull dog.
Needless to say, my first moments of being a mother did not turn out as I had hoped.
I had no idea what the Hell to do with you.
But you were patient with me, and we learned together.
It was in those first few months that I realized that parenting, and motherhood... will never be what I had expected them to be.
But you... you were exactly who I expected you to be.
You were (are) beautiful, funny, snuggly, sweet... you were very much so the light of our lives.
Our family cradled you and cooed you and loved you like the first baby that you are.
I like to think that there is a little bit of all of us in you; me, Daddy, all of your grandparents, and aunts and uncles... you were surrounded by family and love at all times as a baby.
Over the years you have taught me just as much as I have taught you... and again and again I am surprised by this job called Motherhood.
I never would have guessed that you would start talking at seven months, that you'd poop on the grass at the outlets, or scream swears out our windows when you were two.
I never would have guessed that you'd be so creative... leaving us inventions all around the house at all hours of the day and night.
I never would have imagined how fiercely you could imagine, and how deeply you could love.
Way back when you were just my squishy bull dog Baby, I never would have guessed that one day, your lack of sleep would make me cry, and that the way you hurt your sister would make my blood boil.
I never would have guessed that I could feel frustration, or anger towards you... but that is all part of motherhood and parenting, too.
I started to really fear Kindergarten after the tragedy at Sandy Hook. I have since wrestled with anxiety about letting you and your siblings out of my sight.
This might never get easier for me, so please be patient if I attempt to re-attach the umbilical cord every so often.
Know that I am trying, and that I only worry because I love you so very much.
You and your siblings are my heart and my soul.
You are all of the breaths in my prayers, and all of the hopes in my dreams...
You are the very best things that I have ever done in my entire life...
And I want so desperately to always keep you safe.
Someone once told me to ignore my anxiety, and to instead, trust myself and the job that I have done with you so far... trust that I have given you the tools you need to succeed, and that you will.
And so, with fear, and hesitation that only a Mother could understand... I will.
I will do the opposite of what I know how to do... I will let go.
We've done absolutely everything together since you were born.
We've gone to every park, every playground, every lake, every museum, every Mommy & Me, everything, everything, everything that our corner of the state has to offer.
I was Hell Bent on giving you the most exciting, fun, creative, loud toddler years imaginable... and I did.
We've been traveling the state as a team for five years and tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.... I will put you on a bus, and watch you drive away without me.
My heart aches, my throat closes, and my belly hurts as I type those words.
I am so sad that my baby is old enough to not need me for hours on end.
I am so sad that this wonderful, amazing, fun time of your little life is over and now you'll grow faster, faster, faster... than ever before.
I look at your lanky limbs, your dirty finger nails, your super hero shirt... and I know that even though you will always be my baby, you are no longer a baby.
You are a boy.
One who knows how to spell, and read, and has opinions all his own.
You are so ready for this new journey and dare I say... so am I.
Over the last few months I have watched you turn into a boy who is excited about learning, about the bus, about new friends, a new school and a new life.
I am proud of your ability to embrace uncertainty in a way that I have never been able to.
I'm proud that you know just how important it is to be yourself... a good friend, and a leader.
I can say, without question, that I have poured my heart and soul into your first years... that I have given every last ounce that I have to give.
And I will continue to do so, today, tomorrow, and every minute after, for the rest of my life.
My job isn't done yet of course, we have years and years of more fun to have ... but tomorrow will change everything.
Starting tomorrow, you will go to someone else each morning, and I will wait eagerly for you to come home to me every afternoon.
There are so many things that I want to tell you, to remind you:
To wash your hands, to be nice, to look for someone who needs a friend, to be respectful, be accepting, be strong, be brave, that being different is cool, to wipe as best you can, bring home your lunch box, raise your hand, try your best.... tell me everything, everything, everything that happens when we aren't together.
But I wont, just like I wont let you see me cry, I wont ruin your day by being a lunatic.
I am so proud of you Son.
I am so proud of the boy you have become, and I know that you will treat others with kindness, and enjoy every single second of this new adventure that you will take...
All by yourself.
I will be here waiting, just like I always am.