There’s nothing I dread more than the first day of school eve. And none more so than today. Tomorrow my chicken nugget starts first grade. For the last 6 years, he has been my best friend, my faithful companion on a gazillion adventures, and the source of my happy heart.
Because of him, I know more about the feeding habits and indigenous habitats of 33 species of sharks than I thought possible (seriously, try me – I will school you).
Because of him, I have rediscovered the utter joy of everything – digging giant holes in the sand, visiting every museum, zoo and aquarium we can find, swinging too high on the swings, learning everything you can about everything – Every. Single. Thing. – you see, playing football in the backyard, reading 100 books in bed every night, and sitting on a dock watching the fish jump. He has made me a smarter, better, and happier person.
And now he will be spending most of his day with someone else. I can’t tell you how many people have smiled at me and said “oh, you’ll get used to it. You’ll actually grow to enjoy it.” Fuck. That. Here’s the thing: I don’t want to get used to it. I don’t want to ever not miss having him around during the day. I don’t want to ever be grateful that I have free time to do other things. I don’t want to ever think that he is better off in someone else’s company.
Jack’s preschool teacher, knowing me fairly well, asked me how I was holding up. I told her I was a wreck. She got it. She understood. She smiled at me and quietly said, “I always considered it to be the utmost in generosity to allow other people the honor of spending the day with my children.”
Tomorrow morning, it will take every ounce of generosity in my body to leave him in the company of others for 7 hours. I just hope they know what a gift it is.