Thursday, October 14, 2010

Little brother's turn

This morning I was driving my three-year-old to preschool and as we turned the last corner, he exclaimed from the back seat, "That's my school! That's my school!" It was a cool moment, and not just because of his excitement about going to school.

His big brother David went to the same preschool for two years, and Grayson was always the tag-along. I hauled him in a stroller, or with my hand firmly gripped around his wrist, for many a drop-off and pick-up. More than once I had to drag him out of there bodily because he wanted so badly to stay and play with the toys. But it was always "David's school" and Grayson's turn would have to come later.

It's not always easy being the little brother. He has to watch his big brother do things and go places he can't. He has to sit on the sidelines and watch while David plays sports, sit out of the big boy classes at the Y, and stay home with mommy when David gets to go places he's too young to visit. Not that he gets the shaft all the time. But his awareness that David gets to do things he can't do has grown and he has an insatiable desire to be just like his big brother.

School started about a month ago and things have come full circle for my little man. This morning he showed how much his school means to him, in that it is HIS. He doesn't call it "David's school" anymore, but always "my school," or "Grayson's school." He runs in the door each time, finds the box with his name and picture and deposits his coat and backpack like a pro. Then he's off to the tables with toys spread out for free play, without so much as a glance in my direction. That is his time, his chance to be the big boy without the shadow of his big brother.

Not that he minds that particular shadow most of the time. But I love that he is getting old enough for it to be his turn for the big boy stuff. I can tell it means a lot to him.

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