Flash back to the open house for parents at the beginning of the year. I was ready for this. I couldn’t wait to get both kids out of my hair. Half-days sounded like heaven to me. Bring it on!
But there’s Seth’s new teacher and she’s lovely. Just lovely. I was all set to hand him off to a grandmotherly type. This teacher is young and pretty. Her long blond ringlets fall almost to her waist. She tells us how much she loves working with children, especially little ones. She tells us how she knew Montessori was her calling. She’s warm, caring, everything I want Seth’s first teacher to be. My throat tightens.
My baby’s being kidnapped by a beautiful celestial fairy and I’m afraid she’ll do a better job than me!
In the car I say, “I think I feel jealous?”
It’s so crazy? So stupid. I had none of these same feelings when Riley went to preschool. What’s the deal?
“It’s because he’s the baby.” Todd says.
I’d like to go along with that, but the truth is I’m jealous not because he’s my baby, but because he’s my boy. How messed up is that?
That weekend Todd’s parents were in town and I told my mother-in-law about my unexpected feelings.
“You have no idea.” she said. “Wait til’ he gets married and moves away. It breaks your heart!”
Yikes! Seth’s wedding? I can’t even go there.
That night, when I check on Seth sleeping, I think about what she said. What would it be like to watch Seth move away? It's too gut wrenching to even imagine. I'm the one he loves. A hundred times a day he looks at me with longing in his eyes, heart fully exposed on his sleeve, "Mommy, I want you." He says.
I feel for Todd's mother. I'm so sorry your heart was broken when we moved.The year went by quickly, and it turns out, Seth’s teacher (the other woman) was as wonderful as I thought she’d be and he did love her. I loved her too. As an added bonus... shortly into the school year, another lovely teacher came on board who specializes in movement and dance. Life at home can be crazy, but at school Seth got to relax, learn, socialize, dance and have fun. The two teachers together made his first school experience the best I could ever have dreamed of for him. Don't hate them because they're beautiful.
As I walk with him hand in hand from the picnic on his last day, I think of Todd's mother's words. I scoop him up and inhale my little golden boy while I can.