Today, I brought Matthew to meet his playschool teacher. It was a morning of mixed emotions. He bounced out of bed at 5am, jumping up and down, desperate to get there now. I, moved slowly as a snail, weighed down by emotions I didn’t expect to feel.
Inwardly WAILING, I brought him to the place where I will be depositing him for three hours a day come September. If Carlsberg did playschools, this is the place. Set in the grounds of a primary school for the rich and amazing, it has it’s own forest, vegetable patch, astro-turf pitch and slide. It is Hogwarts. It’s the kind of place you dream that your child will be educated in.
He loved it. He grew fifty feet within minutes of arriving. My son. My gorgeous, charming, stunningly good-looking son, who people consistently refer to as “such a happy child” did me proud. As he dove straight in, meeting the boys and girls he will be sharing a class with, and investigating the array of pet animals the children care for, his younger brother looked on. And I know at some level he knew.
Team M&M will be separated from September, as its leader forges a path less travelled. It feels momentous. I know it’s not. I know it’s the way it’s supposed to be. And I know that I am lucky to have had him all to myself for three and a half years, but it seems like it’s all changing, all of a sudden. My beautiful baby is about to grow slightly independent of me. He will be out there in the world, feeling his way and showing people his big, amazing heart, and how he wears it on his sleeve.
I feel cut in two. One part of me is so proud of him I want to burst, and the other part wants to fold underneath my top and hide him from the world.
Last night, I lay beside him as he fell asleep. As his eyelids fluttered closed, I could see dreams racing by in twitches and half smiles. I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from waking up to tell him I loved him. To tell him how proud I am of him. And to tell him that for those three hours a day, I will miss his gorgeous self more than he will ever know.