Why do I always think things will be easier the second time around? Maybe the rest of life has conditioned me to believe that with practice I will get better at something. Mostly, it’s true but being a mama isn’t like anything else in this life. It’s harder. It’s messier. It’s just more. More everything. Good. Bad. Ugly. Beautiful. Sad. Elating. Just…everything. Always more.
Indy started preschool this week. He’s got his own backpack and we went to Target to pick out a new shirt for his first day. Yes. He insisted on a long sleeve shirt. Yes, it was 83 degrees and about as humid as you’d expect in the Midwest, mid-August but he was determined and three hours in a long sleeve shirt wasn’t going to do permanent damage. Anyway, my buddy. The baby I thought would never be with six years between him and his sister, nearly two of those years comprised of month upon month of disappointment. Negative test, followed by negative test. No baby. No brother for Harp. Now he’s three. Bright and funny and forever sporting his impish grin, waiting for the next opportunity to make some noise.
On his first day, we were supposed to drop him at the door but he must have seen just how sad I was to see him going off to preschool so at the very last second he bolted down the hallway, leaving me flailing after him until a teacher down at the far end stopped him from entering the twist of halls and rooms I haven’t learned to navigate right yet. By that point I was ready to scoot him in and scamper off to experience my embarrassment without fifty plus parents looking on. I didn’t cry though, so he kind of did me a favor. Always looking after his mama.
He’s off to school and for a few hours the week my house is quiet, with just one baby to look after. Still the stillness elicits a bit of panic when I forget he’s at school and my brain thinks he’s hanging from the rafters in the garage or is streaking naked down the sidewalk for the 100th time. It’s new and I’m trying to relish the rare time alone with Hank, time we haven’t had since he was born in September, loving on him and remembering when Indy was about his age and navigating the world with his first wave of brazen confidence.
He loves it. Like I was certain he would. On the first day, he burst through the door , with stories of all the friends he’d met and the painting he’d made with fingers, the books he’d thumbed through. I’m happy for him and sad for me and that’s usually how it goes. Shine, sweet boy, shine.