Friday, September 14, 2012


Oliver started preschool last week. I thought he might cry a little bit, but I didn't have any doubts that he'd like it once I left.  I knew he was ready. Parents were asked to stay for the first half hour of class, so I got to watch him interact with the other kids. When his turn came to stand up and introduce himself during circle time, he stood up and declared,

"I'm Oliver the Boy Human!"

The parents laughed. Most kids were busy picking at their shoes, their noses, their fancy first-day outfits. I was a bit embarrassed, but... At least he's orginal, right? The kid is rocking his own beat and I won't be the one to discourage him.

When the time came for parents to leave, I set him up with an easel next to his new buddy. He looked up at me and said, "Okay now, Mom. It's time for you to go."

Amongst the other crying children, it was a relief that he told me I could go. Just like that. He was ready. I would have felt terrible if I had had to walk out on him crying. But he was ready.

He started swimming lessons last week, too. I really doubted that he'd enjoy swimming lessons since gymnastics was such a bust. I had all kinds of coping strategies planned out in case he started screaming.

But I didn't need them.

He walked into the water with me. He listened to the instructions. He got his head wet. He practiced the back float and front float.  He went down the water slide all by himself not just once, but three times.

After seeing how he handled last week, I have to give him a lot of credit. He's not even three years old and he's so much braver than I am or I ever was. He told me he was scared at first, but he walked into something completely new and different. He gave it a shot. That's more than a lot of people, kids or adults, can do when they're scared.

As selfish as this is, I've been giving myself a pat on the back. I helped him to become this way. He's well-adjusted enough to handle change and do things that seem scary. Most of all, I'm proud that he trusts me enough when I say, "Yes, you can do it!" to go and do it. I'm proud that he trusts that I'll be there to catch him at the end of the water slide and to pick him up when preschool is done.

A few of the parents were crying after they dropped off their kids. I guess they were sad that their babies were growing big. I won't say that I didn't understand where they were coming from. But seeing your kid go into the world on his own and use the things that you taught him? That's amazing.

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