This morning, Ari wanted to go to the park to feed the ducks and play on the playground. So that’s what we did.
I lost track of time and realized I needed to deposit a check at the bank. The two of us speed-walked through the park so we could get to the bank before noon. Afterward, we took a leisurely walk back to the car.
We noticed a white duck with a bright orange bill diving deep into the water. We stopped to observe.
“What do you think the duck is diving for?” I asked Ari.
“Hmm. I think he’s trying to take a shower,” Ari said as the front half of the duck’s body disappeared into the water. All that was left were the duck’s legs and its tail sticking up into the air.
“That could be. It keeps dipping under the water over and over again. It might be trying to get clean,” I replied.
As a dark brown duck joined in the deep dives, Ari started to giggle. “Maybe there’s food down there,” he said.
“It must be something good!” I replied.
“I’m going to sit down and watch,” Ari said as he sat on the stones beside the water. But then he looked down and noticed greenish-white splotches dotting the rock. “What’s that?” he asked, knowing full well what the answer was going to be.
“It’s probably duck poop,” I replied.
He stood up immediately and said, “I’ll stand and watch.”
Ari stood there, hands clasped behind his back, watching the ducks with delight. He giggled every time they bobbed their heads into the water. I stood back to snap a photo since it amuses me every time I catch him in what looks like an older man’s stance.
And that’s when I felt a pang in my heart. My son is going to Kindergarten this fall. While I’m so excited for him to begin his schooling journey, part of me is starting to get emotional about sending my baby off to school.
I didn’t feel like this when Isabelle started Kindergarten. Maybe it’s because I was entering my ninth month of pregnancy. Or maybe it’s because Kindergarten was at the same school where she’d gone to preschool. Back then, Kindergarten seemed to be a continuation of someplace she already loved.
That won’t be the same for Ari. He’s missed preschool because of Covid. (That’s a whole other blog post.) It occurred to me, as I watched my son observing the ducks, that by him not going to preschool, I never had the chance to separate from him. And while I think school will be great for him, the mom part of me isn’t ready to go let go. However, the educator part of me knows it’s time.
I know it’s normal to feel all of the feels when one’s child goes off to Kindergarten. I just didn’t expect to become verklempt while feeding ducks at the park.