School boy

This morning Espen came into our room like he always does, we got him dressed and ate breakfast like any other morning, and then... he went off for his first day of school.

I kept bracing for the tidal wave of emotions that inevitably happens to mothers on these milestone days, but (so far, at least!) it hasn't come. Not even when he puckered his little mouth up to mine for a goodbye kiss - in front of all of his friends, old and new. Not even when I walked out of the classroom where he was too busy playing to really care that I was leaving. 

 To be fair, it's only Joy School. It's only for three hours, two days a week. It's only in the home of our dear, dear friend who has known and loved Espen since birth. There are only five children in the class, two of which are Espen's best friends, and two more who will soon be part of his pantheon of playmates. He's not exactly going off into the lone and dreary world to fend for himself amongst uncaring strangers. But still, it marks the end of an era. Espen is no longer tucked completely under the safety of my wing. He is starting the process of becoming separate from me, and that does squeeze my heart a little. That little boy is growing up. Ever so slowly, but it is happening. That soft little baby I held in my arms is undeniably gone for ever.

And yet, the emotions I'm feeling today aren't of sadness, loss, nostalgia or wistfulness. What I feel today is joy and excitement for my little Espen. Today marks the beginning of a Great Adventure for him. Oh, the places he'll go and the things he'll learn! School is a place for friends and fun, and a place to explore and learn and grow. And as we start with Joy School on carpet squares in Miss Stepper's basement today, I can't help but look down the path he has taken his first little steps on, to the places of education that will light our little boy's heart on fire as he learns about the things, whatever they may be, that will become his passions and interests. After a faithful heart and a loving family, there's nothing greater I could wish for for my Espen than a love of learning.

And today he is on his way.


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