Last Thursday it was your first day at your new school. Just thinking about it, five days later, makes me teary all over again. It feels like such a big fat cliche to say that it feels like only yesterday that you were born, but it’s TRUE.
I remember how your little foot fit into the palm of my hand. I remember how you felt, all teeny-tiny 3.76kg of you, nuzzled into my arms a few minutes after I first met you. How it felt to have you sleeping on my chest. Dressing you in newborn clothing and how quickly you grew into 6-7 year old clothing. How it felt to have you kicking in my belly.
The day before you were due to start big school, I went shopping for lunchbox goodies. I have to admit that I had no idea what to pack and what to do. Do I pack a yoghurt? Will you know how to open a yoghurt? I’ve always opened your yoghurts for you, how will you cope without me? And it was that internal yoghurt debate that made me realise how you’re simply one step closer to no longer needing me or your father to do things for you.
You were so brave, on your first day. Dressed in your shiny uniform. Your enormous backpack. You suffered bravely through me taking a million pictures, and you didn’t give your dad too much of a hard time about the video camera. You held my hand as we walked down the road to the school gate, and looked up and smiled at me when I told you that I loved you, and that I was proud of you.
You weren’t worried about anything on your first day. The only concern you had, was when it would be lunch time, so that you could eat the NikNaks you knew were in your lunchpack. Long after we’d left you at your new school, I was still in tears and those tears revisited frequently throughout the day. You’re in big school, and you’re going to be a big brother.
I worry about that. I worry about how you’ll cope, not being the only child any more. I worry about how I’ll manage, with you, and a brother – when I feel like I’m barely coping with just you. I don’t feel like I do a good enough job with you. I don’t feel like I give enough of myself for you. Sometimes I forget to tell you to brush your teeth. Sometimes I forget to give you your vitamins and sometimes I don’t feel like reading you a bedtime story, so I don’t. I’m not much of a mother, most days, I fear. Parenting is not something that comes naturally to me, like it does to your father.
Despite all these things, you still tell me that I’m the best mommy you could possibly have. You still tell me, every morning, when I’m getting dressed and putting on my make-up, how beautiful I am. Despite all these things, you still love me.
I can’t believe you’re mine. In spite of me, you’re growing up. You’re going to be an amazing big brother.
Just like you’ve already been an incredible son.