My little man graduated Elementary school this week.
For even a macho man like myself, that little fact made me as teary-eyed as it made me proud.
I cannot BELIEVE that he will be moving on to Middle School in September. That CAN'T be right, can it? Surely not. I mean, i JUST dropped him off to Kindergarten YESTERDAY!
It sure as Hell FEELS like yesterday, anyway.
I remember that first day, walking him to school since the weather was so nice. Holding his little hand as we crossed the street. I remember him getting to school and deciding he was sick of carrying his knapsack and throwing it to the ground, defiantly telling the teacher aids, "I'm not carrying this anymore!".
I remember going to his school plays, his father-son gym nights, all of the school trips that i would chaperon since the teachers were ALWAYS overjoyed to have a man come along for a change to help take the boys to the rest rooms.
I remember going to parent teacher nights, and finding a note hidden in his desk, saying "I KNEW you would look in my desk to see how neat i was... i love you Daddy!"
I remember the countless nights of sitting with him, through his tears, trying to get him through some homework assignment that he kept telling himself he was "too stupid to understand". I assured him he was NOT stupid at all. In the end, I am happy to report that all assignments were completed, and done well.
I remember starting "Story Time" with him when he was 2 years old. I would read to him in bed at night. Every night. It is now 8 years later, and i STILL read to him every night, although i suspect he's starting to do it more for ME, than for him.
I remember the school fights, the tears, the awards, and the laughter......
I remember all of it....
And, for the life of me, I cannot BELIEVE how much of it has passed me by already.
The number one thing people tell you when you have a child is, "Cherish this time you have with them when they are small.. it goes by so fast!". Of course as a parent you understand this, but you really DON'T. Not until you one day look at your little one and wonder where the hell he went. Somewhere between the bruised knees, and countless rides on the Merry-Go-Rounds, and the nauseating morning cartoons, my little boy has grown up. Too fast for MY liking, but i couldn't stop it, no matter how hard i tried.
I've spoken countless times here about Mini-Me. He has the kindest, gentlest heart of any kid i have ever known. Sometimes i wonder if his big open heart will bring him unneeded heartache as he gets older and has to deal with other people in this world who will undoubtedly be not as loving. I worry that i should have toughened him up more.
But in the end, i don't think i would have done anything any differently. My little man is my best friend, and I am so proud and humbled to see the person he is becoming.
I just wish that it would all happen a tad more slowly.