On Monday we dropped you off at school and then drove to my doctor's appointment. I was crying the whole way there, just as I had been crying in your classroom as you sat down with a smile and immediately got to work. Your little brother moved within me, but I didn't want to think about him right then. I wanted to bawl and fall into the memories of the two and half years when it was just you and me. I know that parents don't have favorites, but you will always hold a special place in my heart for all the hours we spent alone together and for all the first parent lessons that you taught me.
Your daddy used to call us "best buds." Every morning, your smile was the first thing I saw when I woke up. Not all kids wake up with a smile on their face, as I would later learn, but you always did. We could wake you up at 3 am to drive to the airport, and you would just laugh and go along for the ride. I quickly learned that your "love language" is spending time together. Do you know how much that meant to me? To always have this beautiful little boy next to me who wanted to just be in my company?
Your dad and I marvel at your natural goodness. We have seen you make friends with every kind of kid, and we have seen the respect you pay your leaders at church. You want to be responsible, and all we have to do is provide occasional reminders. We realize how lucky we are in that way.
We also love to see your natural confidence. Even though you can be shy and cautious, you love to tackle new challenges and you never seem to doubt that, with time or practice, you can accomplish whatever you try. You have complete faith in yourself, in the sweetest way possible.
This is probably what scares me most about you starting school - knowing that not everyone out there is as dedicated to preserving that self confidence as your dad and I are. I know that you are going to face teachers and students whose eyes don't see you for what you really are - people who will at times make you forget that you are a child of God.
So now all I can do is try and make you remember that whenever you are in my presence. I can hug you, and love you, and encourage you, and pray for you, and hope that it is enough to build a shield around you the rest of the day.
I am sorry that I cried your first day. I was trying not to, but it started before we even got to your classroom. What I am not sorry about though, is that you didn't cry. You sat down and started coloring that picture as well as you possibly could. You didn't cry and you came home with a note that said, "Colin is a good boy. He followed directions." And even though Mom and Dad weren't there to pick you up, you still smiled and happily hopped into your Aunt's minivan, confident as always.
One day down.