When I picked you up from your first "big kid" day at school, you ran into my arms as usual, but not with your usual grin and exclamation of "Mama, I'm so happy to see you!" Instead, you buried your head in my neck and clutched my shoulders and were silent. And my heart just sank. Because when I first walked in the classroom door I saw those two older boys behind the gym mat they'd turned into a fort. Saw them shaking their heads at you, saying no, you can't come in. And even though your back was to me, I could tell by the tilt of your head and the slump of your little shoulders that you were asking please, may I play. (Because you always say "may" and not "can," just like me!)
I'm proud that I managed to keep my cool through the ride home and until Daddy showed up, but when Uncle Timmy called and I told him the story, I did cry. It wasn't just the exclusion or the sadness in your hug, but also the sweetness of what you said as we got in the car, that "those boys didn't want me to come in today, but they will let me play tomorrow." Once I managed to breathe through the tightness in my chest, I realized that that very attitude is the remedy to the problem. You didn't cry, scream, or run away. You chose instead to believe the better of your peers, and to look forward to another day. As Daddy said when we talked later, it was me, the mama, who was wounded.
So happy birthday, little love. My Nursery-schooler, my brave boy, my beauty. May you always be so strong, so sweet, so optimisticly sunny of disposition. I am so very proud of you.
More pictures and details of the Chevalier Mittens, perfect for fending off life's bullies, here on Ravelry.