I cried yesterday. I was putting Seth's clothes in the closet, and I thought to myself: "These are school clothes, these are play clothes." I stopped. My baby boy (okay he's 4) needs school clothes. He starts preschool at the local elementary school in only 2 months.
It isn't my first choice to put him in preschool. It's not because he's so gifted that he needs to be academically challenged. Rather, it's because he has a significant speech delay. They call it a moderate speech delay, but he's a year behind his peers. I only understand 80% of what he says and I can't hold a conversation with him. He can't (or won't - we're not sure) answer questions like, "How many sisters do you have?" or "What did you do in Sunday school today?" It's our hope that being around his peers with typical development will push him to the next level. I hate admitting my weakness, but I spend a significant amount of time keeping my wits about me and making sure our house can function with clean clothes and dishes. I don't get to spend 30 minutes a day with just him and helping his pronunciation.
It hurts my heart that my oldest, you know the first person you love completely without them giving you anything in return, isn't perfect (for lack of a better term) in everyone else's mind too. There's something special about the first child and it's hard not to be disappointed that he's not the crowning jewel I dreamed of so long ago. But I am disappointed. I don't want him to have to struggle. I want to hear what's going on in his little mind. I'm not disappointed in him. I'm disappointed that there's not a quick fix.
So, we're sending him to preschool. We're crossing our fingers and saying a prayer that when he puts on his backpack and gets on a bus to spend 2 hours a day with children who are older than he is will actually help him catch up a little. We hope it doesn't undo all of the character lessons we've taught him to be around children from families with different priorities and values than ours. We pray that he doesn't feel like he's being banished. We just want what's best for him.
Yep, I'm crying again today.