September 9, 2011

The process of parenting

Today I went to Nathan's kindergarten evaluation. His teacher, Mrs. Robarge, took him in to evaluate where he is academically. Then she brought me in. We talked very briefly about his knowledge, then we talked a bit about what to expect this year. What I was hoping he would acheive this year.
What I hope for Nathan is very basic, but in my mind very important. I hope he will learn to be confident in his knowledge, confident in the learning process (trying new things even when it is difficult). And I hope his interpersonal social skills will develop. He is wonderful at independant play, and he plays really well with his sister. But sometimes I notice that he isn't in sinc with his peers. He does well with older children since he can follow their lead and they tend to be a bit nurturing.
The biggest thoughts I had went unshared. Does she know how important he is to me? (of course she does... but not really). Does she know that when I look at him my heart swells with joy, pride, and an ache? I am so thankful to be a part of Nathan's life, to watch him grow, learn and enjoy. I am thankful that God has given me a chance to be a part of his life. When I watch him, really stop what I am doing and watch him, my heart aches. He is a piece of me, and I know my time with him is brief. Does his teacher know how caring he is? That he reaches for my hand when I lay with him, so that we are holding hands as he drifts off to sleep? His tenderness is so dear to me.
As we left her classroom he turned and hugged her legs so tightly, then he reached for her hand to give her arm a kiss. I saw this action many times last year with his Preschool teachers. I'm so thankful to see it again. I know someday that innocent tenderness will be replaced with something different. For now I will cherish this stage, and hope that Mrs. Robarge will see how very special Nathan is.
I could never have known how wonderful it would be to have the honor of being a parent. I'm grateful for my time with my kids now, I'm excited to help them grown and set them free into the world, and I'm so hopeful they will choose to stay in my life when they are adults.