His little boy hands pointed excitedly at the tanks. Fish of every shape and size.
Then, his little legs carried him to a group of older children, clearly on a school trip to the local aquarium. And I melted into a puddle as I watched my little boy get social. When did he get so big? When did he realize he loved being around other kids?
He’s learning new words every week. His curiosity is unbounded, as is his great need to explore.
In the vast spaces of playgrounds and parks while on vacation, it became painfully clear to me that in daily life, my little boy is mostly stuck at home with me, confined to the square footage of our apartment, with the nearest playground downstairs of our apartment, hardly big enough to contain the many children living here. The weather here is hot and humid, and the skies are polluted. Every square inch of greenery here is being ripped apart to build more apartments, more shopping malls, more office buildings. There is nowhere to run and roam.
It also became clear that I’m a poor play companion. As much as we spend hours together cuddling, playing with blocks, drawing, reading, and by the grace of God, napping, I’m not enough for my 16.5 month old toddler.
Yesterday, this happened.
We were out for an early lunch, before preschool pickup. I put my empty coffee cup aside, and he picked it up, ‘drinking’ coffee. It was like a glimpse into the future.
Today, we had confirmation from his brother’s preschool that they have an opening in their play school group for him on October 1. He will be going there for half days, every week day.
My little boy will be with his peers, learning new things from the teachers I’ve come to know. The teachers who I know for a fact, love all the kids in their care. Instead of standing on the outside of the gate at pickup, he will be on the other side, waiting for me, next to his big brother. He will have opportunities for new experiences, and new friends. There will be running, roaming, exploring.
I am at once thrilled for him, and for my soon-to-be-child-free-mornings – and a little sad that my children are growing up faster than I can comprehend.
I’m going to miss my coffee buddy.
What do you do when your kids are at school? I’m planning to er, nap? Read? Clean?