And there's nothing I can do to stop it.
He is down one tooth, and another loose. He reads, writes, adds and subtracts. At any given time he will give you random information about the cycles of the moon and metamorphosis and Texas history. He prays for those at school who are mean to him or others. He is approximately seven thousand feet tall. He is smart and so very, very kind.
His teacher told me that he was a gift. That she's had a difficult year personally, and Tommy's faith in God has helped her with own during a time of struggle. She said that he is brilliant and kind and talented. And that she thinks he's a future preacher/Christian rockstar.
I cried and then I gushed and then cried some more. What mom doesn't want to hear those things? But all of that she said about Tommy - that's just him. His character, who he is even when I'm not there to guide or remind him, he is good and giving and mindful others thoughts and feelings. That is Tommy.
Today, I watched him sing some songs with his fellow classmates. Cleverly sung to the tune of Taylor Swift's Shake it Off, he sang a song called First Grade.
Well, they say I'm growing up, up, up, up, up. I'm ready to move on, on, on, on, on....first grade, first grade.
And then I was crying. Because it's like I can see into the future and imagine my 18 year old son graduating from high school and all of this bringing up and raising and teaching is sort of over. And omigosh, I only have 13 more years left before he's an adult with opinions and is out in the world making his own mistakes and paving his own way and I won't be there in the same way.
He's growing up.
He's moving on.
Kinder graduation is what you might expect. Three hundred excited parents with balloons and camera's there to catch their child's special moment. Everyone present thinking their child is the very best, because they are.
As I sat there today taking all of this in, I was reminded of my dad growing up. What his face looked like any time he came to a play or a choir performance or any other thing where I was either a big or a little deal. He always made this face where he would kind of hold his head up and to the side, clearly choking back tears and smiling at the same time. This look of pride and adoration where he looked both happy and sad as if he were celebrating something and losing something at the same time.
I got that today. I totally felt it. And I'm pretty sure I made the same face as my dad.
What struck me most though was watching all of the Kindergarten teachers engage with their class, tears filling their eyes and trying to hold themselves together much like us moms in the audience. It means the world to me to see up close and personal how much these teachers love our children. How invested they are and how emotional they are to watch them grow and move on. Teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world and we have done our best to support and encourage and thank his teacher throughout the year.
Ms. Lozano was the answer to the prayer of my heart. I was so anxious for him to start school, fearing what he might encounter or what could happen without me being right by his side. But his teacher gave her all to our boy and he adored her. He was excited to go and to learn. I tried my best through tears today to hug her tight and thank her. I gave her a handwritten card and a basket full of fun summer goodies to express our gratitude for her impact and influence on our son though that feels so inadequate.
Tomorrow, Tommy has a half-day at school and he's done. I plan on waking him up with silly string and taking him out for some fun to celebrate school being out and kicking off a fun summertime. I'm not sure who is more excited - me or him. I think maybe me.
Hello 1st grader!
And let's go summer! It's on!