Today was Roan’s first day of school; that kid of mine had the moxy to become old enough for the second grade. I don’t know why or how he feels ok about doing that to me. He’s kind of a big jerk. Because the truth is, I just love spending time with that guy. Somehow all the hard-wiring and experiences and history and life has made it so the time I get with Roan is my favorite time, it’s the time that I feel like I’m doing what I’m best at – which is what? Hanging out? I suppose so. Teaching him? Sometimes. But mostly it’s just talking to this person on this planet whom I find totally fascinating. He’s a person who encourages me to be creative and active and asks really compelling questions. He’s a guy who makes me laugh and smile more often than not. He’s not one for small talk and we can be together in silence. We can read side by side and feel like that was an afternoon well-spent. True, he negotiates for sweet things and later bed times with the cunningness of The Devil himself, but all relationships have challenges. Ours are not very epic, evil tendencies aside. How could I not enjoy this kid?
Still, he apparently has to go and grow up and socialize with his friends and learn so I do the right thing and let him go to school. But today, at the last-minute, I asked him if he just wanted to make a run for it and go to the beach instead? And he politely declined. If you consider an eye-roll polite. So good thing one of us has our head on straight. (Not actually saying it’s him, though.)
It’s not that I don’t appreciate having time to myself. I have one million things I need to do which are easier to do without him. For instance, napping. Much easier to do while I’m not at the park playing with the boy. Writing. Much easier to do without him asking every 10 seconds if I’m done yet. Cleaning. So much easier when I’m not following His Tasmanian Devil-ness around the house. Reading gossip sites on the internet. So much better when he’s not looking over my shoulder asking, “Why is Lindsey Lohan going to jail?” Sneaking snacks he’s not allowed to have. So much better not having to eat them in the loo.
But I have to admit that I’d trade all these upsides to have my Roan just stay this age – where he holds my hand walking down the street, hugs and kisses me to the point of ridiculousness, and laughs at my jokes with no mirth or irony. I know he has to grow up, and that as he does that, his life becomes more and more his own and hopefully he becomes more and more confident in his individuality and autonomy. I know that these things happen, that they should happen, and that it is the natural order of things. But right now today, I just cannot believe I sent him into the second grade. And that he marched right into his school without a worry, with no trepidation, no reservation. Which makes me tremendously proud. And also – sad.