Time for School and Time for Growth

The first quarter of school is complete and in that short period, so much has changed with Mark in so many ways. School has changed him and if I am honest, him being in school has changed me too. It is still taking some getting used to but the difference, the change, and the growth it has brought have been a game-changer.

School brought Mark something I could never give him. School has given him the ability to socialize with people his size in an environment built for him, and in a place where people are watching every move he makes. His language has taken off since he started school. He is speaking full sentences. He voices his opinion and can actually tell you what exactly he wants. Even when he back talks me and says “uh no mommy. I don’t want that”, it serves as a reminder of just how far he has come. It makes me think about the doctors telling me that he would never talk, yet here he is… back sass and all.

He has made friends! Every time he sees them, he gets excited. He screams their name as loud as he can before he runs up to them and gives them the biggest hug he possibly can. I keep thinking of my article I wrote a while back, Conversations and Kindness. In one of my more vulnerable articles and in one of the most difficult experiences I’ve dealt with as a parent, I explain JUST how I felt and what my biggest fears were for my son.

Mark has new and evolving interests! He loves playing with his toy trains and has a consistent desire to play WITH other children. He has a new fascination with the alphabet and numbers. He REALLY enjoys reading all sorts of books (just like his mother), and uses critical thinking skills more often than in the past to solve problems.

His behavior is changing too. He is becoming more mature and that felt really weird to notice. Mark shares toys and books more easily. He explores new foods. There really wasn’t a set moment that it all hit me, but when it did, boy did I have to take a step back and reevaluate. My baby really isn’t a baby anymore. He has a sense of maturity and is more independent. Although he is still a little clingy to me- more than he has been in the past. Between you and me that is a strange but pleasant surprise. It is difficult to know that he is walking into school upset, but it’s also adorable to know that he misses his mom when I leave.

The decision to send Mark to school was a very difficult one for me to make. I am extremely fearful of what his future holds when it comes to his education and how other children will treat him. Mark is a very gentle and kind boy. He has the biggest heart and is incredibly thoughtful. Those qualities are difficult to find in people today and I certainly don’t want someone to take advantage of that. I don’t want this cruel world to take away some of the best parts of my child.

As he continues to grow, explore, and learn, Mark will slowly begin to shape himself to become the man he was always meant to be. This is another scary thought but I will wrestle with it the same way I did the school topic. I will support what is best for my son. Always. When it comes to school, well… as long as his school continues to spark wonder, ignite passion, fuel a desire to learn, and instill intellectual curiosity while fostering an environment of love and support, then he will continue to thrive, in my opinion.

I am sitting and typing this as he is laying in my bed next to me just taking his nap. He has his teddy and his tablet which has since been turned off. It amazes me every single day just how far we’ve come. I’ll admit, I do miss the infant stage. The baby snugs were the greatest feelings ever. Having him look up at me and putting his hand on my cheek, the way I do to him, made my heart melt in more ways than I ever thought possible. Now he is walking, talking, running, climbing, and being a little three-rex and for as much as I love this, I keep thinking about the future.

Whatever the future may hold, let it come. I am fortunate enough to have moments like these that I can look back. I just know that in 3 years’ time, I’ll look back and remember when my little boy was snuggled next to his mommy in bed with his teddy, just because he didn’t want to be without me.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.