The uniform pieces have all been gathered. He has a spiffy new Ninja Turtle lunch box and the cutest little loafers. I'm pretty sure he has no clue what is coming. We've sent kids to pre-k before. This one feels more shocking. I think it is because he seems younger due to his smaller size, he is our last, and because this pre-k is a at a real school rather than at a Mother's Day Out. The upside to that is lots of cool things like spanish, art, P.E. and music specials like a regular school along with time in church and learning about God. Also, his teacher has been doing this for 30 years so is clearly a pro and ready for a room full of 4 year olds.
The harder part is he is going a bit longer than either of the other two did (8-3:15 when they went 9:30-2:30). That said, that is only 15 minutes longer than his preschool day last year. I'm dreading real school things like car pool lines and learning the ropes in another place. I have the usual crazy mother guilt about not having spent enough time with him, particularly enough one-on-one time now that he is part of trio and since I began working longer hours last fall.
The best part is probably E himself. He has a completely loveably, snuggly, sweet personality. He is the first to take care of me, give me pats, and tell me I look beautiful. He is polite and very good at remembering to say thank you consistently and sweetly. He brings ice water for he and I to share every evening during book time. He is able to infer things in ways that his Dad and Brother sometimes struggle to do. For example, an off handed mention of not having had enough water or why are there so many shoes all over and he is off to fix both those problems without being directly asked. Love it.
He wants to take selfies and hold my hand. He wants me to carry him up to his nap (and basically will not nap if I don't and someone else dare take him). He smells his ragged blanket and has a look of pure bliss. He loves animals and trips to the zoo. He loves baby tomatoes and more fruits and vegetables than his siblings combined and eats huge quantities of them if left to his own devices. He is quite aware that his smiles are killer and will pull one out to win his point. He talks so much like a grown up now and it is hilarious to listen to some of the things he says. He can quote large chunks of Hamilton and will gladly finish lyric lines if you start one. Louis the Lion is his favorite stuffie of the week... we have four lions and I am only vaguely aware which one is Louis, but he is adamant to have that particular lion and no other right now. He loves dragons.
He has a vivid imagination. He randomly has been wearing his brother's batting helmet often while at home, but has no interest in playing baseball right now. He still loves his "guys" -- really any small figure and increasingly gravitates to LEGO mini-figs and changes out their hats or other costumes. He is glad to sit close and watch. He can swim 100x better than two months ago and will swim 5 ft to the ladder, climb out, jump in (often with a ninja kick or cannon ball) and swim to me, over and over and over.
Of course all is not perfection cuteness and joy. He has recently developed an unfortunate tendency to scream or hit when he loses his temper or doesn't get his way. He is prone to the occasional stubborn off over chores. He cries easily sometimes. He is 4.
I am so very proud of him. I am so honored to be his mom and feel so loved by him every day. He is unique, wonderful, and amazing. I want him to stay just as he is in this sweet, magical, loving moment. I know it can't be. There have already been tears and will be more. I am not good at change. I hope the year to come is amazing for him. I hope he learns, grows, makes great friends, learns to read a bit, and still loves in his sweet way, snuggles daily, and holds my hand. I love you my sweet E.