He's grown leaps and bounds since this time last year.
He's more mature.
He isn't as shy as he was.
And the thing is, when I was telling him how it was going to be so much fun to meet new friends, have his own desk, eat lunch in a real cafeteria, learn all sorts of crazy and new things from his teacher and grow in his faith...I was telling him the truth. There was so much comfort in that for me.
When Adam and I went to the new parent information night last week Father Frank, our parish priest made the statement (and I'm paraphrasing) that our children are so privileged to get to attend this school. For a lot of us it's a sacrifice we make to ensure our children get the best education and are planted well in their faith.
And I looked over and Adam had tears in his eyes. Because it is a sacrifice for us but it's one we make to ensure Aidan is in the best place he could possibly be, receiving a marvelous education. That's not something to be sad about.
There was no sadness. Just immense pride and excitement for that boy of mine. My chats with him about the big year approaching had worked their magic and he was fearless walking up that sidewalk for the first time. I wanted to take it slow and soak it all in but he had other plans for us this morning. He wanted to see the new friends and he wanted to hug his teacher and check out areas of the school he had not yet explored. Immediately he saw his teacher and off he went! I was barely able to keep up enough to snag a kiss while he was mid stride to get in line with his class. He didn't even say "goodbye".
So as heartbreaking as it sometimes seems to feel that our children are growing at the speed of light (times flies when you are having fun) and as painful as it is to know he will never ever be a baby again, today when I drove him to school I only cried a few tears of joy. Five feet from my car after I had walked him to the gym on his very first day as a school age boy.
And then I counted every minute until I was able to hear every detail of his first day.
And just like every other year...a montage of first days passed.