When I walked up to Miles’s daycare at pickup time earlier this week, I was surprised to spot him in my peripheral vision approaching across the grass come from an adjacent building. “Daddy!” he called, as genuinely excited as I’ve ever heard him. “I’m not in daycare anymore! I’m in the fours class across the street!”
Yes, this was the day we’d been told was coming soon (that I had, full disclosure, forgotten about) — Miles was now in the “big kids” school across the street. And for all his recent lamenting regarding the irreversibility of the aging process, he is THRILLED about this development.
We were on the couch downstairs Monday night, sweatily attempting to fall asleep when, after several minutes of silence, Miles said, “Daddy. Don’t forget I’m in the fours class now. SO you gotta take me there in the morning.” As soon as my alarm went off the next day: “Daddy! Don’t forget you’ve got to take me to the school across the street now. Because I’m in the fours class now. I’m not in daycare anymore.”
These were two instances of roughly fifteen that occurred during the hours between 5:00 PM Monday and 8:00 AM Tuesday. And yet, when we pulled up outside the “new school” Tuesday morning and I asked Miles, “Are you sure I’m supposed to take you there?” his response was a ponderous, “Hmmm. I don’t know…” I replied, “What?! After all of that, now you ‘don’t know’??” Of course we were in the right place, and as soon as the door opened, Miles disappeared inside, greeted by all of his buddies.
Of course, this wasn’t just a transition for Miles; I was also greeted with new circumstances. For the past several months, Miles has held to a strict routine when saying goodbye in the morning: first a hug, then a kiss, then a fist bump, then a high five, then another hug, and then another kiss. No deviation permitted, lest we have to begin the process again. It’s one of those small things that I’ve come become accustomed to and really adore.
Today was the second morning I dropped Miles off at the fours class, and that routine is GONE. In fact, every single component of the custom has been abandoned. Maybe it’s just the excitement and novelty of his new environment.
Maybe my son is just growing up.