Dad or Parent?

This morning, while playing trains with my son, I felt like a dad. Since he was born a little more than two years ago, I guess I’ve always just felt like a dad.

An hour after dropping him off at my mother-in-law’s, where he spends his day while mom and dad work, I felt, for the first time, like a parent.

Why the change?

Today was the “Parents Coffee” at what will be his preschool starting in October. My wife and I were sitting among a group of probably 50 other parents listening to the director of the school go over all the details and what not of how they operate.

A couple of thoughts going through my head during all of this:

  • Damn, this preschool situation is a whole thing. He’ll be going twice a week from October through mid-May. I knew this all along, but it hit me today. He’s going to school. We signed permission slip after permission slip and medical forms and library card applications. This is real. Very real. Isn’t he just two? Isn’t all this stuff for older kids? I should enjoy all this, because we’ll be filling out Financial Aid Forms before we know it.

  • Again, it’s my competitive spirit, but, as a parent, how do you sit in a group like that and not have thoughts go through your head like, my kid knows his colors. He can count to 10. He might not know the ABC song, but he knows his letters. He’s gonna be the smartest one in the class.

  • Are any of the other parents here thinking the same things I am?

I was having a hard time focusing as a parent. It wasn’t a case of information overload as much of it was a case of, wow, our son is going to school!

But, thanks to the director, I was able to think like a dad again. I’m not really sure why I think this is the coolest thing in the world, but the big news was that all the two-year-olds get their own cubby to hold their stuff. I mean, how cool is that? His little Red Sox backpack will have it’s own place to stay while he’s learning and having fun.

And, when I as a parent goes to drop him off at school, I’ll leave feeling like a dad when I watch him put his stuff carefully away in his very own cubby.

Yup, my son is going to school.


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