Friday, May 20, 2016

Owen the Preschool Grad

When the nurse hands you a just-born baby and calls him by name, reality can hit like a brick wall.

This name you and your husband discussed for months were just two words attached to the baby inside. You grinned when you saw his name written on hospital forms and blinked in disbelief when the letters came together over his crib. It was surreal to hear your doctor ask about him and even crazier when you looked into your baby's eyes for the first time and let his name roll off your tongue.

Over the years, hearing my son's name sent chills down my spine with a quick thought of "Who am I to name a person?!" Eventually I grew used to screaming it when I spied a puddle of chocolate milk or an entire roll of toilet paper bobbing in the water. Stringing those letters together had become commonplace. That is, until Owen Bauer was called across the stage at preschool graduation.

In his tiny white cap and gown, the kid I called Owen shyly walked over and listened as his teacher shared his accolades. She told the crowd my son wants to be a police officer when he grows up. She said he was a stickler for the rules who kept his buds in line and would be sure to do the same for whatever community he protects. She also said that although this was his only year of preschool, he's a social butterfly and a great friend. You couldn't exactly tell by the way he hesitated to receive this honor, but he lit up when he donned a dog costume and joined his friends to sing "Who Let the Dogs Out" - yes, it was as glorious as it sounds.

He's a real person. I know I have been a mom for almost nine years, but the idea that I brought a real person into this world still floors me. The fact that someone other than his mom knows how awesome he is and sees the potential he's bringing to kindergarten is astounding. Hearing someone lovingly say his name still gets to me.

After we packed up the dog suit and let Nora take the stage post-program {because, of course}, Owen climbed into the car next to his brother. He told me he was proud of himself for being brave enough to stand in front of a large crowd and let his light shine. He beamed when he got to pick cheese tots for supper, then announced he was ready to start kindergarten the next day...

While he still has a few more days before I send him to primary, I know this kid is ready, thanks to his village. Owen's preschool teacher is one of a kind, full of patience, contagious enthusiasm, and constant protection. This particular teacher is one of the first people who took my bunch in when we made the move south. She took two-year-old Nathan under her wing, and has been loving my kids ever since. I can hear it in her voice when she says their names.

The names I helped choose now hold special meaning for someone else. Who knew?

Congratulations to my Baby O for rocking his first graduation garb. I know in just a blink, he'll be a high school senior in a similar getup. Maybe I'll control my blinking in the coming years. Happy Friday, friends, and a special shout out to the Preschool Class of 2016!

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1 comment:

annies home said...

what a sweet occasion a time when they stand at the end of the preschool stage and the stage that they are no longer a baby. So glad that you were allowed to celebrate this time in your lives
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