Last night was your first of many educational graduations. Last night, you graduated from preschool! I know that critics may claim it is not a true graduation, and quite honestly, years ago, I would have been one of them. Now that I am your Momma, I feel much differently.
Buddy Boy, I am so proud of you. Ever since you were a toddler and the first color you learned was chartreuse (of all things), I knew you had amazing potential. You learned your colors and shapes very early on, and your alphabet and numbers soon after. My heart was so full of joy, feeling like you were following in my honor roll footsteps. You spent much of your first four years at home with me, and I relished these years and took your education (as) seriously (as I could with your siblings and the assorted chaos of our lives).
It fractured my heart a bit when life's curveballs made it so you had to attend daycare and other women would be spending their days with you.
I was also very nervous. You are my first born, the one who taught me how to be a mommy, and our bond was special. It was laden with challenges of your quirky personality and hate for change and new circumstances. I was very apprehensive to let you be in the care of strangers who didn't know what made you nervous, what brought you joy, and everything in between.
Last night was your graduation program. While you did not participate in the singing, I am proud of you. Last night, you joined your class in your classroom beforehand, willingly and happily, despite your tears and pleads not to on the way there. At one point, you even agreed to stand up front.
I know many adults may criticize us and my decision to not press the issue of you performing. When you walked in and saw the crowd, you panicked. I know thousands of adults would have done the same. An adult would call it a panic attack, anxiety, an extreme phobia, or other such thing, but when it comes to a little guy like yourself, it's often not seen with the same understanding and grace. I am sure many would be disappointed that I did not try to force you against your will to join.
But I heard your scared cry and I let you sit beside me. We watched the program together while you sang along quietly, and in between songs, I would try to urge you to join. You would chose to stay in the audience. That was okay.
Your accomplishments, your strength, your intellect, your worth... None of that is measured by your willingness to stand in front of tons of strangers who are staring at you as you perform. Some people love performing. Many don't. Your mom is one who tenses up and gets nervous in front of an audience, so I understand.
I will always encourage you to try. I will work to develop your bravery, and we will continue to pray for bravery and strength in situations like that. I believe one day you will join, and you will be so proud of yourself for doing so.
Until then, know that you're amazing, even out of the spotlight. You know so many things, you can do so many things, you have the emotional intelligence of an elementary school student for sure, you have a huge, compassionate, and empathetic heart, and you bring so many of us such great joy. Many know this of you already, some refuse to see it or understand, but one day, countless people will know.
I am so blessed to be your Momma, my little graduate. You have big things in store for your future!