They're always a bit behind the times.
It's a wonderful place, with caring teachers, big jars of tempura paint, and kid-size nooks and crannies. For three days a week, Owen gets to live in a larger world, one that belongs solely to him.
I wasn't prepared to feel any emotion about this. It's the same school, with most of the same friends as last year. It's preschool, for Pete's sake.
But--My God--where is my baby?
I didn't know that he could be so protective.
When I pick him up three hours later, I ask, "Which friend did you like seeing the most?"
He replies, "You, Mommy."
When Owen was just a distant hope, I taped this poem to the wall by my desk at work.
Every time I read it, I dreamed of being a mother:
Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.
Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.
My Owen. My son. My beautiful clean slate.