It happened subtly and suddenly all the same.
Just as you notice leaves slowly coating the ground in the fall it is still a bit of a shock to notice bare branches out of the blue in the winter, as though it happened overnight.
I see him everyday. I am with him more than I am with anyone. I have an up front seat to his growth and development and changes and yet overnight, he grew up.
I was the mystery reader in my son’s three-year old class Tuesday, which meant I came into the classroom while the students were on the playground so that when they came in I was there as a surprise with a book to read.
I loved seeing my son’s face as he realized I was the mystery reader, and I loved getting to sit in the teacher’s chair with him as we read one of his favorite books, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.”
On Tuesdays, his school offers an after school art class The art teachers were setting up as I read the story. When it was over, I was expecting to take my son home, but instead, he said he wanted to stay for art class.
“Please Mommy! I want to take art! Will you sign me up for art class? Please?”
We had already missed the first few sessions in December since the holidays were so busy. The art teacher jumped in to say, “We can pro-rate the classes if you would still like to sign up.”
I felt torn and put on the spot, but how could I deny him an art class?
“Please Mommy? I will see you later ok?”
“Are you sure? You don’t want to come home with Mommy?”
“Nope,” he said casually as he took a seat at the art table. “I will see you later Mommy bye-bye.”
“Ok,”, I somewhat reluctantly agreed, “I love you!”
He smiled and blew me a kiss as I walked, dejectedly, towards the door. His teacher said, “This is so good! This is really what you want! I know that’s not how you expected your afternoon to go.”
“I think I need him now more than he needs me,” I responded, realizing that this now, is the truth.
And so I left a very content and happy little boy at school while I made up something to do to fill another hour with out him.
Just like the leaves on the trees, I have noticed his growth every day. But now I feel bare like the winter branches, and it all happened suddenly overnight.