Today was the last day of Jack's first year at preschool.
It kind of snuck up on us. I forgot to get a picture of Jack and his teacher. We forget to get Jack's teacher a little "parting gift." We were unable to attend the all-school picnic on Monday. It was a little anticlimactic.
When his teacher brought him out to the car this morning, I could tell that he was trying to hold it together. He got in the car and he wouldn't say goodbye to his teacher, so I asked him what was wrong. He whispered, "I'm really going to miss Jack Slisher." I assured him that he'd see Jack S. almost every Sunday and probably at other times. Then his voice cracked as he said, "I'm going to miss everyone."
I can't even begin to tell you how much like me he was in that moment. I don't think there has been a time in my four years of parenting and I could empathize as well as I could in that moment. I cried at the end of every school year. I didn't handle change well, and I knew that even though I was going back to the exact same school in the fall, everything would be different. I liked things to stay the same. It's only been since college that I've grown to love change.
We pulled into a parking spot to let him buckle up into his car seat. He had his head buried in his hands, so we just sat there quietly for a few minutes. I cried a few sympathy tears and I could see a few rolling down his cheeks, too. Eventually, he sat up and buckled in. On the way home we talked about what he'd do this summer and the sadness was replaced with excitement.
With all of the mud stomping, wrestling, puddle splashing, rough housing, and toy car crashing that comes with having little boys, it was nice to get a glimpse of Jack's tenderheartedness. And it was good to know that he's a little bit like his mom.