I am participating in my first Flashback Friday today and I found it only appropriate to make it all about my little school boy. I said recently that each age is better than the last, and I mostly mean that. But my favorite memories of Braedon are right around the time in these pictures, between the age of 12 and 18 months. I think it is because he was still an only child at that age. It was just him and me. My little man-child...
Yesterday we had Braedon's pre-school orientation and I am proud to say I in no way made an ass of myself. I am not good at being thrown into social situations with strangers. It's not something I am okay with and it's something I'm always working on, but for now it is what it is.
I was afraid of Braedon being labeled in school, even before his first day had begun. I feared he would be 'the kid with the weird mom' for the remainder of his school days. Luckily there was a mom there who fit that title much better than I. Sure, I couldn't resist sticking my nose in the middle of his Scholastic Book order form and taking a long, intense whiff for old time's sake, (it smells just the same!) but at least I didn't keep interrupting the presentation requesting clarification on things like snacks, color days, and homemade Play Doh. I was so thankful for that mom. I wanted to hug her and tell her that I appreciate her idiosyncrasies because they outweigh my own. But that would have just been weird.
I keep having to remind myself that Braedon starting school isn't about me, my issues, or my insecurities. It is about Braedon. My first born with the old soul. He will be labeled as 'wise beyond his years' just as I was. Whatever that means...
That boy has my heart. No, he IS my heart.
As his first day approaches I keep repeating the same important message to myself over and over again. "He is who he is." It is my job to LET him be that child. That PERSON. Already I feel the urge to control. To encourage him to do the things I liked or to excel at the things I excelled at. It almost makes me understand that awful 'Toddlers and Tiaras' pageant mom mentality. ALMOST. But I refuse to let my perfectionism and obsessiveness get in the way of the way he chooses to learn. If he wants to stress over the shape of his letters and the layout of his pencil box, that is fine. But it will be because that is how HE is, not because I allowed myself to not-so-subconsciously rub off on him.
His first assignment is to cut out an apple shape and put his picture on it. My gut instinct was to photocopy the apple and have him do several practice sheets until I felt confident that his final product wouldn't resemble a green bean or a pineapple, but I am resisting. His life is about him. He is who he is. And he is just the way I love him.