A single white sheet of paper did me in. I’m going to receive this paper ever year for another dozen years and I’m sure at some point it will become an annoyance. At some point it won’t represented the passing of time but rather the passing of mass amounts of money from my wallet.
That sheet of paper contained the school supply list for Max’s first year of preschool.
He’s only three! Pre-school isn’t required for kids his age but as an only child in a new town Brett and I agreed he needs some socialization. Still, it’s hard to take that he’ll be in actual school. Not day care, or a glorified babysitter but actual school. He’ll be wearing a uniform! Gah!
I’m not sure how we got there. The first year of Max’s life felt never ending. I was almost incapacitated frompost-partum depression. I was drowning in guilt because society told I was supposed to be some glowing, over the moon new mom. What I actually wanted to do was hand my baby to someone else while I spent the day crying in bed. I was never suicidal but I did wonder how I could just disappear.
With time, support and a little professional help, things got better. Every time I see an exhausted, frustrated, end-of-the-rope new mom I want to hug her and promise that it will get better. I’m proof of that. After his first year, time has flown by and suddenly that 10lb 4 oz newborn is unique and distinct person who loves trains but hates naps.
Now, I’m dreading handing my little boy off to someone else for 3.5 hours, 5 days a week. I worry how my son with the sensitive soul will handle when a kid steals his toy or hits him. I’m concerned with what will happen if he needs help in the potty. I dread that some teacher might see his spirited personality as an annoyance because he can’t sit still or gets wiggly when he’s excited. I know this is all a part of growing up and I refuse to be a helicopter parent. However it is breaking my heart to let go.
Here’s a poem my Mother-in-Law wrote, inspired by Max’s school supply list. She hit my sentiment right on the head.
SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST by Renee Pipitone
What does a small boy really need
Before he goes to school?
Tissues and a box of crayons
Zip-lock bags and glue,
Legs long enough to reach the sink
And strong enough to climb.
Ears that listen carefully
To stories, poems and rhymes.
Knowing when to speak his mind
And knowing when to hush.
Knowing how to wash his hands
And remembering to flush.
Big eyes full of wonder,
Inquisitive and clever.
A mind that likes to play pretend
With no qualms whatsoever.
And when his parents take him there
And leave him with a wave,
He will tell them that he loves them
And remind them to be brave