Nate headed off to kindergarten yesterday and showed us again what a dream child he is.
We'd been talking up the fun of kindergarten and gone to an orientation; he was super shy during orientation, but didn't balk at the thought of it. The night before kindergarten was starting he said he didn't want to go, but it was in the context of a horrible tired hysterical tantrum, and he was asleep 7 seconds later. I didn't worry too much.
Monday morning we got up early and gabbed and got ready nice and leisurely. Stewart snapped some pics as we headed out the door, and we drove off. I had talked with him about walking him in, but while we were driving I told him I'd walk him to the door; that I knew he could go inside by himself.
So we parked and walked to the front of the school, milling around with a lot of other parents and kids. It was a treat to watch the little Pre-K kids waiting with their little bags and nap-rolls; they looked so tiny and sweet! Nate hung by my side, quieter than usual but holding up. When the doors opened and kids started in, Nate hesitated but seemed game - he had definitely absorbed that it was an important day. I knelt down with him and told him how incredibly proud I was of him, to have a wonderful day, that he'd be great. He gave me a kiss on the lips; a very rare occurrence. I stood up to say goodbye and heard him say something quietly: ironically he told me he'd said, very sweetly, "let me go."
I let him go. I smiled while he walked away from me. It was all terribly symbolic and touching and I teared up a bit but mostly grinned at my sweet happy son. We smiled and waved and blew kisses all the way down the ramp, and I headed home with my Jack.
I got there early to pick him up, as I always seem to, and waited what seemed like forever for his blonde head to be escorted out. He looked up and saw me waiting, and yelled "It was great!" He said it again when he got to me, and we headed home with Stella. After we'd dropped her off (carpool!), I remembered to ask him about his lunch: I'd packed a few special things in there. He liked the apple slices with hearts and the rice crackers and the name cookies, but what he mentioned was the note I'd taped to the top of his snack: Mommy ♥s Nate. He told me he found my letter, and that when he read it he kissed it. Then when we got home he taped it on the fridge, and added his own note (totally his idea, done completely by himself, except for spelling Mom):
He headed off to Chinese day today without a problem: jumped out of the car, yelled "I love you!" and slammed the door. He's on his way.