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The Day I went From Mommy to MOM

Dear Kaleb,

Yesterday you started your first day of big boy school. You are in a PreK program at a Christian school; you go from 8 to 3, 5 days a week. This was yet again another change for you. You went from a daycare, to staying home with me for 3 months, and now you are in school, doing big kid things like recess and cafeteria eating.

When I dropped you off for your first day, you were excited but scared. You started crying the minute you figured out I was about to leave. You were clinging to my leg as hard as you could and said, "no mama don't go. Mommy, please don't leave!!" Your tears were getting bigger and more frequent the more I tried to pull you off of me. I knew the faster I left, the sooner you would stop crying and be just fine. I managed to peel you off and walk out. I'll never forget the sound of your little voice when as I was leaving, I heard "Mama!! Mommy! Please, mommy!"

It hurt my heart. I hate nothing more than walking away from you when you're that upset. We work on trust building at home so often, and me having to walk away like that, it goes against every promise I make to you at home about how I'll never leave you and you'll always have me.

I sat in my car and had a good set of tears of my own. I knew I was doing the right thing. I knew you'd be fine; I knew you'd probably be fine sooner than I would be. I just kept hearing that desperation in your voice when you said my name.

Fast forwarding to this morning's drop off (after admitting you had a great first day and you, in fact, didn't cry after I left), I didn't know what to expect. You were in a great mood in the car, we were talking about how much it's been raining lately and how you just couldn't understand how God could have all that rain. I didn't mention much about school because you were doing so great in the car. I just kept wondering how it would be when it came time for me to walk out again.

Looking back on past moments when you started your first daycare, it took you a month or more to not cry when I left; surely there would be tears today, it was only the second day, after all. I was ready, I was strong and I was prepared to peel you off my leg again and walk away.

We entered the classroom (with me walking on egg shells), you put away your lunch box in its proper cubby, you walked to your backpack hook, placed it exactly under your name and then you put your name tag on. I was behind you the whole time, watching and waiting...wondering when the ball would drop.

When you turned around to walk to your seat, you looked up at me and said the words that will probably forever stick in my mind, words that I wasn't expecting, words that poked at my mama heart. You said, "You can leave now, MOM."

M O M.




I won't lie to you, a little part of me was sad. I don't think you've ever called me just "MOM" before. And more than that, you didn't need me today. You didn't need my leg to cling to, you didn't need your mommy because in that moment, you were and are a big boy now. You were confident in your day, in your surroundings and with yourself.

So, you saying that brought many emotions. Because I am, in fact, a MOM and moms have emotions that are crazy. Learn that early in life and you'll be way ahead.

For a few minutes in the beginning, it did hurt from the shock. But as the day went, I thought about it more and more, and of course, above all, I'm so happy you didn't cry! I never want that for you.

I realized that in this moment, maybe I deserve a pat on the back. Maybe just maybe, I've been doing a few things right. Like I said you were confident and sure of yourself. Obviously you were trusting of me that I was leaving you at a safe place, with safe adults and you were trusting enough to know that I'd be back to get you at the end of the day. You were also able to talk to some of the other kids and make new friends on the first day. You absolutely rocked another big change in your life and I couldn't be more proud.

I pray that I, with the help of your amazing teachers, (because no way can I take all the credit) we can continue to give you all the tools you need to soar as far as you want. You can do huge things in life if you want to, little man....huge things!

Tonight I feel like I'm going to bed with a new-ish title. One that maybe came sooner than I expected, but one that I couldn't be more proud of!

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