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Four years ago, I was waddling around like a fat penguin and being referred to as "sausage toes" by my doctor. The only shoes I could wear were flip-flops and my love for the summer sun was quickly diminishing with every pound I gained.
Thankfully, for me and the sanity of everyone around me, I was only a few short days away from my planned C-section. It seems fitting that my delivery was planned down to the minute being that I have a touch (just a touch) of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Owen must have known that his mommy was a creature of habit and he was determined to spice things up a bit. Life hasn't been the same since he made his grand entrance into this world, which is spinning entirely too quickly, I might add. My little man that I cradled in my arms just yesterday, it seems, turns four years old Saturday.
Instead of playing with rattles and teething rings, he's playing with Iron Man toys and Super Soaker water guns. Instead of listening to nursery rhymes and playing patty cake he's listening to AC/DC and head banging.
Where did my baby go?
Now, before I go on, I must get something out of the way first. Let me assure you that I don't plan on writing about my son every year on his birthday. While Owen gives me plenty of material to write about on a daily basis, and one day I might write a book of "Owenisms," I don't want to become one of "those parents." But, you're going to have to cut me some slack this year because my son is not only turning four, he's also starting preschool.
(My stomach just sank when I typed the word "preschool".)
I thought this summer I would have plenty of time to mentally prepare for this milestone in Owen's life, but the first day of school is fast approaching and I'm still in denial. The day I got his preschool supply list in the mail, I almost hyperventilated. Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. But, I did get a sick feeling in my stomach. Book bag... glue sticks... lunch money... oh my!
And, on that note, what is a No. 10 ball? I still haven't figured that one out. It's the final item I need to purchase on Owen's preschool supply list. That and the box of Kleenexes I'm going to need the morning I drop Owen off at school. His father might have to peel me off of the school floor after I've melted into something resembling a project Owen might make during art. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for Owen. I know he will love preschool and it will prepare him for kindergarten, but it's just another sign that my baby boy is growing up. I don't like that part. It makes me wonder how my mother coped with taking two little girls to their first day of school. I shutter at the thought of what it must have felt like to drop those same two little girls off for their first day of college. My mom must have nerves of steel and a really good poker face. Of course she does. She's the mother of twins, after all.
I'm going to have to get some pointers from my mom in the coming days, that's for sure. I don't want to melt into a puddle of tears when I take my son to school on the first day. I want him to proudly strut in his classroom with his new Iron Man book bag, being the brave the little super hero that he is, without having a soppy mess of a mom following behind him. I know it will be the first of many days that I will have to hold back tears.
What I do in the parking lot, however, is my business.
So, if you see a hysterical woman in St. Augustine Grade School's parking lot on the morning of Aug. 10, just hand her a Kleenex and walk on by. Hopefully, I'll be able to make the short trek from St. A to my office without completely losing it, but I'm not making any promises.