Yesterday was Kanin's 7th birthday. I almost kept him home from school yesterday because I just don't think that you should have to go to school or work on your birthday. It is your own personal holiday. But, he wanted to go to school on his birthday. When it's your birthday you get to be the line leader.
(Sidenote: Today he really is sick so I did keep him home. Good thing I sent him yesterday.)
Since it was his birthday, I told him that I would bring him some lunch and that he got to choose what it was. He wanted Jimmy John's. Yes! If he got Jimmy John's for lunch then so did I.
When I got to school his class was still at recess. He was hanging around on the sidewalk and kept looking at the door. The teacher told me that he had been looking for me that entire recess. When I walked out on the playground with the #14 in the sack with a bag of bbq chips and container of milk, I could see relief. Mommy hadn't forgotten.
After getting lined up and led in the building, there was a little chaos. Kids washing their hands, going to the bathroom, hanging up coats. I stood to the side, out of place, not knowing what they were doing. We finally started walking to the gym where they eat and I started to walk into the first door. "No, Mommy. That's the wrong door. We go in the last one". Oh, ok.
In the lunchroom he led me over to the table where he normally sits. Yep, the girl table. Here's my little guy surrounded by 6 girls. Great.
We took out his sandwich and his chips and he began to eat.
In that one moment, my time stood still.
As I sat there at the little folding cafeteria tables (the same kind that I used to sit at when I was in school), it became very real to me that Kanin isn't a baby anymore. He was sitting in a room full of first graders. He was talking to me about his day and I sat there and listened. "I have music today" and "we're studying squirrels" in class.
And, even though I have these conversations with him at home, this was a new environment, away from home. The place where he spends his days.
"I only have 8 more minutes until lunch is over" as he looked at the clock. Really? Since when does he know what 8 minutes is?
Where did my baby go?
Then, he gave me this look and I saw him still in there. There is my little 6 lb 1 oz baby boy that came in and stole my heart and changed my life forever. "I love you, buddy. I hope you are having a good birthday." "I am, Mommy."
"That's the end of my lunch. I gotta go."
Off he went. My baby. My 7 year old.