My 31-weeker “graduated” from Kindergarten yesterday, and although I am not... he showed me once again he’s ready for his next step.
We have been through a few years of preschool and even a preschool “graduation” but there was something about watching my little peanut march proudly in his pint size cap and gown that made me catch my breath.
His looked so handsome with his head held high, enormous grin on his face and this confidence that he was going to take on the next chapter of school. When he got to the front of the gym, I saw him looking out into the crowd for me knowing I’d be snapping photos of this wonderful moment. His eyes catch mine and immediately tears stream down my face. He waves, acknowledges me and moves on and begins to giggle with his friends. Meanwhile I am trying to compose myself so others don't realize I cant keep it together.
Many parents go through this phase of life and have specific moments of time that they remember vividly. I know this will be one of mine. Because there are slivers of life with him that I can vividly remember every detail. When he first met his little brother, when he first rode a bike, when he took his first steps. When he first said "I love you mama” and slept in a big boy bed all by himself. A few milestones before that, and although several years ago, they are some of the most memorable. The lead is the night he came fiercely into this world 8 weeks early, followed by when he conquered his NICU experience and demanded to be here.
Since his early birth I have let him lead, at the same time I’ve also helicoptered in fear of letting him fall. But he has continued to show me that with faith and encouragement, he can do it. Whether it’s learning to breathe on his own, learning to eat on his own, learning to ride a bike or tie his shoes... he can do it. And I’ve known this all along... that he can. But there is something about watching your child go through such hard times when they are so very small, you want to protect them forever.
I'm grateful to this little man for showing me the way. Showing me that with faith, love and encouragement he can do anything. I’m looking forward to more of these breathtaking moments of life with him and his brother, and while my heart hurts just a bit as these milestones quickly pass, I’m thankful for the memory bank that continues to get stocked. Because even with these tiny feet of his, he is going to make big footprints in this world, and I cant wait to be a part of it.