Monday, July 9, 2012

Letting Him Go (to VBS)

Today is the first day of Vacation Bible School for the Peanut.

This morning I got up early, got breakfast tacos, fed the Peanut and got him ready for his first day of VBS.

He picked out his clothes.  I asked him if he wanted to wear his Star Wars t-shirt and he looked at me like I had two heads.  "I'm going to church!"  "Oh.  Well you can wear a t-shirt to VBS or you can wear a church shirt.  Whichever you want."  "Church shirt."

He got dressed.  He excitedly chattered away.  As he was eating his taco he would get contemplative.  "Mom?"  I fought back the urge to hurry him along.  He was taking his sweet time eating and I didn't want him to be late for his first day!  But I knew he would have important questions and I wanted him to feel comfortable and prepared.  "What is it buddy?"  "Remember that episode of Sponge Bob..."  "EAT YOUR FOOD!!!!  WE HAVE TO HURRY!!!!"

I was supposed to drop him off between 8:30 and 8:45.  Obviously being his first day I planned on getting there right at 8:30.

At 8:30 on the dot we left the house.

I was understandably a bit frazzled as I buckled the kids in and got on the road.  No worries though the church is only about five minutes away.

I was starting to feel anxious.  Peanut was pretty quiet during the car ride.  For some reason no urgent questions about Sponge Bob came up.

I gave him the lecture about being good and listening to his teachers.  Told him how much fun he would have and that I would be back to pick him up before he knew it.

Right before we walked in the door I snapped a picture.  I really wanted one of him standing in front of some sort of VBS background but there were a ton of parents dropping off their kids and for whatever reason I was the only crazy mother stopping to take pictures.

What?  I needed it for the blog!
Can you see how nervous he was getting?!

We went inside and registered.

I took him in to his age group and they gave him a t-shirt and a name tag.  He was really excited about the name tag having his name on it.

I told him we would be leaving and to have fun.  We would be back to pick him up before he knew it.  He sat down to color and I turned, took a deep breath, and started walking away.

He came running after us.

Ok, that's it.  Obviously he isn't ready for this.  No biggie.  We will just try again next year.  It was a good try.

His arms shot out for a big embrace.

Bye sister.  He hugged her and turned back towards his group.  He was feeling sorry for her that she couldn't stay too.  (Thank goodness for that!  My heart can only take so much at one time!)

Again we said our goodbyes as I fought the urge to comfort him and assure him everything would be ok.  (Cause he was fine.)

Again we turned to walk away.  I fought back the tears.

Just look at the forlorn look he had on his face as I walked away.

That's how he looked to me!

Honestly it took me a bit by surprise.  I knew it would be hard but every step killed me.  I looked back about a bazillion times.  He never even looked up.

I got to the car and still found myself watching the doors.  Just in case he came running out after me.  Not that anyone would let him.  But you know, just in case.

I started the car.

Drove three circles around the parking lot.  Took a deep breath.  And drove home.

Now I am watching the clock.  Counting down the seconds as they tick by ever so slowly.

Just got to make it till noon.  Then I am back baby!

To hear all the exciting details of his day.  His three whole hours away, on his own, in the great big real world, without his mommy, or daddy, or sister, or aunt, or cousins...

Because you see he has never been away like this.  He has never even been babysat by anyone other than family.

But because we homeschool, I haven't had to drop him off at the first day of school and walk away.

Last year all his friends started school and their moms posted the pictures of their babies on their first day.  I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn't have to go through that emotional trauma.  I could put it off a bit longer.

Walking away and knowing your baby is going to be just fine, yet fighting that protective mother instinct that just can't seem to let go.  Wanting to be there to comfort and encourage and watch every moment of his life.

I know this time away is good for him.  Probably even more good for me.  I mean really, helicopter mom much?  Gotta loosen my grasp a tiny bit.

Did I mention that the Princess is lost without him?  "I miss my brother.  He my best friend."

Mine too baby girl.  Mine too.