Today was Aidan’s end of the year preschool program. I smiled as they recited the Preamble to the Constitution, stumble-mumbling over unfamiliar phrases like “domestic tranquility” and “general welfare”. I beamed as he did his “part” saying the words to “Hey Diddle Diddle” that he had effortlessly memorized after one reading from me. And I fought a leaden lump in my middle when other kids’ laughter after his recitation completely changed his demeanor. He went from smiles to this:
And it wasn’t any huge deal that anyone noticed. But I know my boy…and I knew what this face meant for his insides.
Preschool has been a mixed bag. With most of the *lessons* being social rather than ABC oriented. And the social lessons crush my heart. I debated long over whether to pull him out around February because he dreaded going daily (and I really don’t think preschool is a necessity). “Boys are mean.” “I hate school.” “I don’t feel good.” “No one likes me.” But his teacher assured me that nothing out of the ordinary was going on and the lesson of sticking with & pushing through despite seemed too important (not sure if that decision was wrong or right even now). Still. It’s an arrow in the heart to watch the sinking of sky-high self-esteem. To watch the birth of self-doubt. To not be able to *fix* it all. With a kiss. Or a band-aid.
And it hurts double to know that so, so much, much more is waiting to be faced.
There's a definite and high price to being a Thinker and a Feeler. I watch the difference between Aidan (who thinks & feels & internalizes) and Davyn (who breezes through life with a smile). This is one of the Big battles of life, in my mind. Believing in yourself. Despite. And not just for a 4-year-old boy. I consider myself. Sometimes I feel the quiet Confidence of who I am. And sometimes that lasts for a long while. But sometimes I flounder and second guess anything & everything that others say…anything & everything that I say. I want to help my Aidan find more of the former than the latter. To cure this human foible once and for all. Because it hurts far more to feel it for him than for my own self.