Protecting My Mama Heart

Last week my big boy started pre-K. He is going to the same school he went to last year and many of the kids in his class are coming back for pre-K. He was excited to make friends and meet his new teacher. He couldn't believe he was going to be one of the big kids he talked about last year.

Our first day back went well. I only cried on the way back to the car, but he had a wonderful day. After I picked him up on his second day, I noticed a different attitude. He seemed less excited and told me he didn't want to go back to school. He eventually opened up to told me that a child in his class came up to him and told him that we weren't invited to the classmate's birthday party.

My heart sank and I felt sick to my stomach. Some kid was being mean to my son and excluding him?? OH HELL NO. I could feel the mama bear starting to come out. I had a hard time controlling it after E shed a few tears. We tried hard to turn it into a teachable moment. We talked about how he won't always get invited to every birthday party, and that it was okay. We talked about how the boy in his class may not have realized how hurtful he was being, and how E could tell the boy in his class how those words made him feel. He seemed to understand and he was excited to go back to school the next morning.

After he went to sleep that night, I cried. I cried for my sensitive little love's heart being sad, I cried because I knew this was the first of many tough moments as he started going to school, but most of all I cried because I can't protect him anymore. This day has been nearly 5 years in the making and I thought I would be ready for it. Unfortunately, I was not nearly as prepared as I'd hoped. I realized that I have no way to protect my mama heart.

Gone are the days where a quick nursing session would calm him down, when singing a favorite song would ease the tears, when kissing a booboo would make it feel better. This is a harsh reality for me as I learn to navigate this next phase of childhood. Gone are the baby days for my oldest. Instead they've been replaced by curiosity and personality. So much personality.

From here on out, I will remind myself that we are raising a strong, sensitive, independent, smart, and funny little boy. While not everyone will think he's as amazing as I do, he will go out into the world and kick some ass. He will come home some days and be sad because someone will be mean to him. It will break my heart every time, but I'll be there with a big hug and kind words. I know he will find his peer group. There will eventually be a group of sweaty boys in my house eating all my food. At some point he'll stop opening up to me, but I hope that day is very far away. I really hope that day never comes, but until then I will take it one birthday party at a time.