Sunday, September 18, 2011


There are moments in a child's life that a parent marks as important. A baby's first word, crawling, walking, and other milestones. They're important because they mean a child's made a major developmental leap, physically or mentally.

Tomorrow, Nathaniel starts school. This is one of those moments. It's not formal school, per se, but he will be immersed in a structured environment and receive formal instruction for the first time. There will be playtime, nap time and I would imagine general goof-off time, but the pre-pre-school's basis is on teaching the children who attend.

Nathaniel has been looking forward to this day for months. In fact, the idea of going to school served as his primary motivation to be potty-trained. Now, still about two months shy of his 3rd birthday, our little guy is pretty close to being fully versed in the business of doing your duty in the bathroom. The credit goes mostly to him. He was driven to learn to do his business in the potty, knowing that the reward would be to go to school (and the lollipops along the way).

As a parents, it is a bit bittersweet. I was thinking about all this at church this morning, as I watched Nathaniel playing the piano – not badly, I must say, with perfect posture at the bench to boot. He suddenly seemed bigger to me, more grown up. No longer could I mistake him for just a toddler. He had a veneer of maturity that made it hard for me to see him other than a little boy, forming his own views and opinions and full of hopes and promise. Where had the last three years gone? How did my little boy suddenly seem so grown? So, in a way, I'm as excited as he is about school – the beginning of the opening his mind and his imagination to all that scholarship has to offer. But I'm just a bid saddened, knowing that a phase in his life is ending, never to return, except in my mind.

Watching your children grow is exhilarating and heartbreaking at the same time.

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