Tomorrow is my son's first day of fourth grade. FOURTH FUCKING GRADE. Do you realize how insane that is? He's had four school years since preschool. After this year he'll have four school years until high school. I don't have anything profound or even semi-coherent to say about that. It's just crazy.
When I went to tuck him in tonight we had to move his clothes he has picked out for tomorrow off the bed. There was a nice, button-up shirt and a tie and he even remembered socks and underwear. He wants to look fly for his first day. Then there was also a pair of sweatpants because he couldn't find anything else. Yes, he was planning on wearing a nice shirt, a tie, and sweatpants because that's who he is. I'm usually a hands-off parent who doesn't interfere but I did help him find a pair of slacks to wear instead. If there's time I'll try and take a picture in the morning and include it in this post.
At the risk of making myself look like an idiot when I post this in the morning without a picture, I'm going to bet there will be plenty of time for me to take one and upload it. He's easy in the mornings. There's no yelling and screaming at our place and there's only franticness if I wake up late. Otherwise, he just gets up and does what he needs to do. Tomorrow I'll feel like he's saying look Dad, there's already so many ways I don't need you.
That's what is supposed to happen, of course. Children are supposed to learn to take care of themselves. That's successful parenting. That's one more thing no one tells you before you become a parent, though. Sometimes successful parenting hurts.
I won't tell him any of this. There's no reason to make him feel bad about growing up. Instead, I'll just make sure he actually puts on the socks and underwear he has laid out and help him with his tie. Then when he's ready to go I'll tell him he looks pretty good for a big old dork and he'll remind me that he is my son. Then will hug, I'll drop him off, I'll head off to work, and he'll head off a little more into the future where he can live without me.
Sometimes he'll catch me looking at him and ask about it. I want to say that he's getting so big on me that I just can't believe it but I don't. Instead I tell him I'm just daydreaming about the day I can turn his bedroom into a library. He says go ahead and do it now Dad and I'll never move out. It's always good to know I have a backup plan.