Maybe it was the back to school haircut he/they got today triggered his emotions.
I walked down the hall towards Nolan and Graham’s room for the fourth time since leaving them to sleep for the night. The first three times one of them called for Linds or me.
This time? There were both tears and all-out whimpering. Nolan was in his top bunk, crying uncontrollably:
“I…don’t want to go to s-s-school. I’m gonna miss you so much.”
This, from a kid who was so angry and upset at us last year because we made him stay home because he had lice.
Linds went up and laid next to him while he continued wiping tears from his eyes. Graham was laying below, echoing Nolan’s sentiment, “I miss you too, daddy,” without the tears.
We spent a few minutes reminding him how much he loved kindergarten. We tried selling him on the fact that he’ll love first grade just as much despite some of his friends being in different albeit neighboring, classrooms. We succeeded – he stopped crying and even let out a few laughs.
I got to the kitchen – roughly ten steps – before he was bawling again.
I went in there, got the same “I’m gonna miss you so much” comments, but my fat ass couldn’t climb up to lay next to him – the two of us (mainly me) on the top bunk really stresses out the wooden slats holding it above Graham’s bed.
Instead, I spent the next ten minutes standing next to the bed, gently massaging his scalp with my fingertips, trying to comfort him with words, as he dozed off to sleep while Graham continued whispering, almost inaudibly, “I miss you, too” – over and over.
Nolan had fallen asleep, Graham demanded a kiss, and I walked out.
There’s no doubt they’ll miss being home every day and I’m certainly going to miss spending every day with them. Nolan will be gone for 7+ hours and Graham is going to preschool for two-and-a-half hours, five days a week.
It’s gonna be me and Austin every morning until we pick up Graham. A few hours later, we’ll greet Nolan as he gets off the bus.
Oh, and school doesn’t start until Wednesday. This trepidation will disappear. These tears won’t last – they do, however, remind you how much your kids love you.