Today my not-so-small Kamal started preschool. Adam and I were so nervous about the first moment of parting--but it all turned out ok. Kamal and I rode our bike along the creek trail, noticing crows and the wind and an easy chair randomly deposited next to an electric tower, and then when we turned off the trail onto a road we sang our First Day of Preschool song.
Then I brought him to school, braced for a hurricane of emotion. And what happened instead was Kamal saying, "I want a hug," and when I gave him the hug, he kissed me sweetly on the mouth, wiggled to get down, and then, with his easy little smile, said, "Bye, mama."
Just like that. And then he happily went off with his teacher to look at the school's chickens.
So no tears from him, and none from me, either. (Not at drop-off, anyway. Kamal cried a little this morning about not wanting to go to preschool yet, even though he's been excited all week, and I wept lying in bed with Adam a couple of nights ago, fearing this would be too hard.) There's relief, of course, and excitement for him and for all of us, for this new chapter. But here and there on the ride from his school to my quiet office, I felt like I was wearing my heart, bloody and dripping, on the front of my dress.
There's my love, letting go for a little while. Practicing. I'm so proud of him, and so proud of Adam and I, for I being able to let go today. But oh, man. Parenting the right way means doing this over and over again. Nobody said it would be easy. Still, it is the sweetest and the richest hard work I've done.