We got a lot done this weekend.
Ben graduated from Kindergarten. Again. After two years in the K program, he's going to 1st grade. And I'm going to quit blinking because every time I do, my sweet boy grows a foot, learns a new (naughty) word and becomes THISMUCHCLOSER to shedding his endearing, little boy innocence (what's left of it anyway).
On Friday morning, Ben calls to me from his bed: "Mommy, I need to come in and talk to you." There is still some semblance of pitter-patter on the wood floors and I think of this while he runs down the hall. I consider how enormous his feet are getting, and how pitter-patter is so very short-lived and how if I could do it all again, I'd listen intently each time those feet come down the hall to me.
I shed my first tear of the day.
He jumps into my bed. "Ohhhhh, you are so warm, Mommy. I want to stay right here next to you."
I want you to stay right here next to me too, Ben. Forever. Please.
It's moments like these when I realize that being a mother requires constant and easy access to Klee-nex.
"It's your last day as a Kindergartner, sweetie," I tell him. You are graduating today! He looks at me with wide eyes. "I'm done with school? That's it?" "Uh, no. You know you're going to 1st Grade now." And then: "But I did Kindergarten twice. Do I have to to all the grades twice?"
I knew this question would come up sooner or later. "Do you know why you did Kindergarten twice?" I ask him. "Because you were conceived at a very bad time. October birthdays are horrible when it comes to starting school. Especially for boys. No way were you ready. You'll thank us later!" What I actually say is, "You got to do Kindergarten twice because you are so very good at it." He seemed to buy that.
So when we finally got out of my bed, our Friday began and the weekend was unleashed. Along with a few tears.
We started with a photo-op in the front yard with our ginormous hydrangea plant before school.
Then to school for the Kindergarten completion ceremony, followed by treats - and a few tears - in the classroom.
Then, with Ben off to his dad's, I grabbed my friend Wendy for a much needed girl's night downtown. The details of the evening are top-secret, suffice to say we had way too much fun and I won't be drinking vodka again anytime soon!
After a long recovery from Friday night's events, my mom and I headed out to a party at my ex-husband's house. My ex and his girlfriend had been planning the party for months and our presence was very important to him. I'm actually still close to my ex-in-laws and I enjoy most of my ex's friends. Likewise, my ex is amicable with my family and with a few of my girlfriends, too. It's a great deal, all the way around. Plus, yesterday, I got to steal a little time with Ben.
This is Ben with his cousin, Lili. They are exactly one year apart. They adore each other.
And here I am with Lili's mother, Denise. Denise was married to my ex's brother. They divorced right after us. I think Denise is wonderful; deeply compassionate and the most engaging person you could ever meet. We always shed a few tears when we see each other. When we were married, we traveled together, we shared books, we divulged our secrets about marriage, our children, our dreams and our fears. Denise has always been like a sister. I cherish her.
I stayed at the party until late and came home with a heavy heart. It's always hard to send Ben off on a trip with his dad but harder still to process the inevitable tides of letting go, moving on, making peace, and feeling the unsteadiness of life.
So for now, there's girls nights, quiet Sundays, newly installed cable, stacks of books and my Napster playlist.