It'e been an emotional week thus far for the Armstrong family. Preston attended his first day of Pre-K yesterday and we're working through all sorts of feelings about it. He's a big boy and emotionally ready for school. He craves intellectual challenges and interaction with kids his age. We chose a school we're confident will suit his needs. We've attended several school related events, introduced Preston to his peers, and have done our best to prepare him. I learned that my heart cannot be prepared fo the challenges that come with watching one's child grow. It hurt for a moment as I watched him walk away. Knowing that he'd be surrounded by temporary strangers (but hopefully - eventual friends), a little confused about what was ahead, and wondering what his mommy, daddy, and best friend Cameron were up to.
Preston was tired and Cameron was clinging to him as usual. It didn't seem odd to me but once Preston entered the building Cameron's little lower lip began to quiver and it broke my heart. She wanted to be with her brother.
Big life events always trigger the internal mother versus photographer struggle. I want to do what I love most but I want to enjoy special moments with those I love most. I handed the camera to my husband but forgot to remove a polarizing filter I've had chilling on there. Don't care. I love this photo.
It tells you the day's story.
Preston: trying to make Daddy laugh. Cameron: trying to crack a smile despite her sadness over her buddy leaving. Me: excited and hopeful but shocked that I'm here.
How am I here? I'm a mother to two amazing little people. People! Not babies.
More clinging and concern. Poor Cameron was confused and out of sorts. She said she wanted to go to school with her big brother and all her girlfriends like she does at church. She's so social. Her favorite thing in the world besides her messing with her brother is meeting friends - girlfriends - wherever she goes.
His face. Handsome, hopeful, and sweet. While I know this experience will be good for him it is hard letting go. Putting my faith in the hands of virtual strangers and handing over my baby was difficult. I've done it before but it's different now. It's for good. He's a big kid. He's in school for many years. He will never be a tiny baby wriggling around on my lap.
I let him go. I let his daddy take him to the classroom where new friends, adventures, and pursuits await him. As difficult as today was it reminded me of the gifts becoming a mother has given me.
Preston has made me a better person. He has a way of doing that. He is so wonderful you can't help but want to be your best for him.
Watching Cameron become emotional over losing her buddy for a few hours made having them fourteen months apart worth it. They're best friends.
What more could I ask for?