Life is full of these moments. Those times that are so joyful, yet somehow tinged with sadness too. I think they happen so often that we miss most of them all together, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Although because we don't recognize these moments for what they are, their significance is also overlooked.
Alec started preschool at the beginning of September, having never been left with an unknown person, let alone in a foreign setting, he totally freaked when I left him. He was so upset that first time that he cried for the first 45 minutes of the two and a half hours that he was there. Each time I dropped him off, got a little better. We could go a little farther into the drop off routine before Alec would start to cry and each time he cried a little less when I left. This morning it was as though he suddenly realized that preschool was a fun place to be and that mom would always come back. We went through the same drop off routine and when I said goodbye, he waved, said bye and immediately went over and joined and activity. I was of course ecstatic. However after driving away, I was a little sad. This is just one more step away from being dependent on me. A small step, but at step none the less. Of course this was one of the goals behind enrolling him in preschool. I wanted Alec to be able to interact with other adults and children his own age. To realize that he can do many things on his own or at least without mom being present. I was worried that if he didn't learn these skills now he would be the kindergartner that falls apart on the first day because they've never been without mom.
I want Alec to grow up, but at the same time I'm sad that he is slowly leaving me. I know that holding him too tight will not create the confident, independent man I want him to grow up to be. Knowing this doesn't really change anything though. Today Alec did well when I left him, who knows how he will react the next time. I can hope that the days of crying when I leave will now be few and far between. On those occasions I will try to remember and take comfort in the fact that he is still a little boy who needs me for a while longer.