Growing Pains

For this week’s I Heart Faces photo challenge of “smirk” I chose a little photo I found hidden on my hard drive. I just love that this picture shows Thomas enjoying his favorite drink – hot chocolate, of course – while we spent a few moments together, just the two of us. We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately and this photo is the perfect reminder of how calm those moments can be without the distraction of toys and TV and little brothers.

We are now back in the full swing of preschool with rushed mornings of trying to get out the door in time to avoid the dreaded “tardy slip”. Thomas is in a new class with a new teacher this year. About a third of his class is returning for their second year of preschool while the rest are new. Despite the fact that I thought this might make the transition back to school a little easier, it seems to be the returning kids who are having the most difficult time adjusting. On one day early last week, I found myself standing at the back of the classroom with four other parents who were trying to peel their crying children from their legs and I realized that we were all here for our second year – the first year kids were quietly sitting on the mat listening to the teacher. I suppose the effect of having a bunch of new four year olds invading your space can’t be underestimated.

I was offered another glimpse into Thomas’ mind while we were talking over dinner late last week. He said to me “Mummy, do you worry?” and I said “Yes, sometimes. Do you worry?” “Yes, I worry that no one will want to sit with me at school and that I’ll be all on my own.” So then we went into a conversation about how the other kids are probably worrying about the exact same thing and waiting for him to come and sit next to them.

I love it that he’s growing up and becoming more and more able to express his thoughts and feelings, but I hate it that he has to start worrying about things already. Shouldn’t you at least be able to make it to first grade without these stresses? I supposed I assumed that we would have a few more years of that childlike innocence that everyone talks about.

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