Went to the grocery store with Samuel this afternoon. It didn’t escape my notice that this was one of the last times I would be shopping alone with him – the last time to do it when he was still a "preschooler". But the store was crowded and I just didn’t allow myself to "go there". Yes, my baby starts Kindergarten on Monday. Yes, I’m going to miss him. Terribly. But those are not sentiments I can face in the middle of a crowded grocery aisle.
So we made it through and pushed our overloaded cart to the cash register and waited while the cashier scanned items. That’s when Samuel started pestering me for a reward (his word). Now mind you, I wasn’t going to take him – he begged me with tears to let him come. I took him to Sonic and bought us each a Java Chiller before embarking on our run to the store. AND he rode in the cart until there wasn’t enough room anymore! After that, he hung onto the side of the cart while I pretended to be a bus. In the middle of our trip, when we were at the absolute opposite end of the store, I caught him dancing around and got to rush him on the "potty express" to the restroom.
And so we get to the checkout and he wants a reward. For what?? I told him his reward was getting to tag along. Also, the Sonic drink. So he got mad and by the time we got to the car, he was saying things like "I wish I had stayed home with daddy!" Undaunted, I said "Okay, next time, you can stay home. Then I said "I am surprised though. You used to like to just come along for the ride. I wonder what’s changed?". He answered "Maybe I’m growing up.". Then he said "When I grow up, I want to be just like Daddy. Did you know Daddy’s an Engineer?"
Such a silly thing, but it was all it took. My tears started to well up in my eyes and suddenly I could barely see the road. My baby! My baby is going to Kindergarten and there’s not a thing I can do to stop him. Time won’t stop. It will march on and from now on, instead of marking his firsts, we will be tracking his lasts.
I know, I’m being overly dramatic. But as if all of that wasn’t enough, after a few minutes of silence, Samuel said "I want to be in the Army. I want to – to – Mommy, what do you do in the Army?"
It was all I could do to keep the waver out of my voice as I tried to give him the simple answer. It wouldn’t do for him to know how upset I was. Because though I’m crying on the inside, what my baby needs most from me is for me to be all smiles on the outside.
Is this really happening? Didn’t we just bring him home from the hospital and introduce him to his two big brothers? I can’t even imagine our life before Samuel. He is our little ray of sunshine and he’s my little buddy, always ready to hop in the car and GO!
I know, I know. He’s not dying – just going to Kindergarten for crying out loud!!! Just let me have my cry and then I’ll move on.
(BTW, as I write this, Snickers is laying in my lap and she is now trying to give me doggy kisses. Guess she senses my mood. It has reminded me of the reason I finally gave in on the getting a dog plea. This is why.)