The light already on and the shower already running in the teenager's room.
Hmmm...it appears he can get out of bed early without being prompted. Who knew?
He's gotta be scared.
He's gotta be shaking with apprehension, right?
It's his first day attending a "real" school.
And he's not really attending. He's just shadowing a fellow student to get a feel for the way things work. It's only one day. But it's a big step.
I asked my husband this morning if he was a little sad that our baby was going to school.
"No, I'm not sad. I'm so excited for him," my husband declared.
Well, Good. For. You.
Because I'm kinda holding back some tears here.
I made him breakfast. An egg sandwich. As the tears polka-dotted the toast, I got a glimpse of my puffy eyes in the reflection off the microwave. Oh, this is going to be so embarrassing. Pull yourself together, Girl. So I lathered the tears on the toast with some butter and no one knew the difference. While I was at it, I made my husband an egg sandwich, too. Both my boys were surprised when they came down to a warm breakfast. I guess you have to go to school in this family to get good food in the morning.
The drive to school was sweet. I wasn't distracted. I listened to him. We laughed a bit. Twenty minutes of uninterrupted time with him. I purposed to parent. Because I knew I wouldn't have all day. We pulled up to the school with minutes to spare. We sat in the car and discussed his hair and swimming and whether he would ever be allowed to go to a dance. Lots of topics for just a couple minutes. As the clock ran out of stall time, we made our way through the front doors. I was dragging my feet...he was leading the way. I wanted to stop and take his first day of school picture, but I thought I'd wait. I'd wait until he really has his first day of school. And then I might embarrass the heck out of him. But not today.
The staff greeted us and welcomed him. Two boys that he knows walked through the front door and gave him a shoulder bump. The ninth grader that he's shadowing today came to get him and there were grins and laughter. As my baby walked down the halls of a school for the first time ever, he looked back at me. I didn't get a hug, or a kiss, or an I love you. We had said all that in the car. I got a wave and a head nod. A head nod that I know very well. A head nod that told me that indeed he was going to be just fine.
And I cried all the way home and made my face even more splotchy. I bought the other kids doughnuts, and now they are so glad that Zach went to school today because they got to eat sweets for breakfast. They don't understand why I'm so sad. It's just school, Mom. I'm totally going to throw those words back at them when their firstborns go to school for the first time.
And it's okay...
Even without my oldest, there's peace in the home today.