You guys, I was fine. I was seriously fine about Dash starting kindergarten. He's been in daycare and preschool for years. He's had so many transitions, so many firsts. I was honestly unfazed.
Until yesterday, when I made my final back-to-school wardrobe purchase for him. A pair of checkered Vans--his first. I ordered him the exact same shoes that every kid in my elementary school wore growing up.
Seeing those white soles that I knew would soon be covered in his writing sent me straight back to 1976, and I finally remembered the difference between preschool and this: kindergarten is our first real step away from our parents. Kindergarten is where we learn how to learn. Where he'll engage in a world of his own, where he'll start to truly figure out who he is and what interests him.
I mean, I know I'll still be there with him, to steady his steps and encourage his growth. But when he looks to me, it won't be with the same open, expectant face I've come to know. He'll understand something about who he is and what he wants. About what he likes and how he feels.
It is, of course, the only thing a parent wants--for their children to take sure steps away from them. But, my God, it's hard to watch them go.