Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Preschool is a Chaotic Kind of Poetry

A little over a week ago my son turned three. THREE. This morning that three year old, my husband and myself all piled in the car, after snapping a few pictures, and drove to the next town over for a certain someone's first day of preschool.

 No one cried. It was calm. There was excitement and nervousness and nostalgia certainly, but they were wrapped up in this unnerving sense of normalcy.  

 Each moment though monumental in some ways, was just a moment and we were all just people. That feeling of seriousness, importance... gravity, it never stretches out through a whole event like you expect it to. Not weddings or births or even deaths.

 It moves in and out of you like the tide. Ebbing when it's time to wash hands or for reminders to walk, not run. Flowing when you catch glances with your kid in the sea of kids doing something that shows their newly acquired age. You beam with pride in the same instant as you experience an invisible punch to the gut. The punch of three years full of minutes missed to minutia.

But over it all danced the quietness of time. The silencing effect a ticking clock has over all other sounds once noticed by ears that want nothing more to linger on the laughter of their children.

 It is this knowledge of the unceasing nature of time that makes the magical things in life seem mundane and the mundane things seem magical.

Signing in for the first time, hanging up his backpack, his introduction to his classmates and ours to their parents. It all seemed too airy and fleeting. Nothing concrete in them. Nothing that felt like the making of a memory.

 But the tug in my heart between jumping in to assist and instruct or holding back on purpose in order to let him learn to look to his teacher for those things. That felt big. 

Knowing he was once this precious pressure in my belly as I watched him learn the terrain of this new environment as I sat silently on the sidelines? That felt deafeningly big.

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