Surprisingly, the thoughts of Agent M starting getting older, starting 2nd grade, and being back in a classroom all day were not what got to me the most today.
It was the forms. Filling in only myself and Agent M in our household when signing up for the free-meal program. Filling in the Emergency Contact Card and realizing that I have no idea where his dad works, what his work phone number is, and - while I know where his dad lives physically - I have no clue what his actual address or home phone number is. It was checking the box for living with "Both parents" and having to write "separated" next to it.
It was scanning the playground for Agent M before class started, and realizing that I had no idea what he was wearing, since it's his Dad's week. When the bell rang for classes to line up, this became a tear-threatening fear that I would not see him before classes started.
It was getting into the car I borrowed for the day and looking at the clock and thinking, "I should be trying to park for class right now." But classes are not in the cards for me this semester. With needing specific days off each week for Agent M's soccer practices and games, that makes me unable to request two more days off for classes. So I have to drop out again. It was not a difficult choice to make, but it is a sad one for me. I finally finished a semester, petitioned to be allowed to continue despite my poor grades in the past, hoped for weeks that my petition would get approved (and it did), but am dropping out again anyways. My consolations are that I don't have to shell out the money for books, parking passes, and I was still pretty low on the wait lists and may not have gotten in anyways.
It was looking through his folder of "Parent's Homework" after class was over, and sorting out which to give to his Dad and which to make copies of so that his Dad and I each would get a copy.
It was Agent M telling me, as he put on his shoes when his Dad came to pick him up from me, that the reason he growled at me when I asked questions about what his day was like was because "Dad doesn't ask [him] questions like that, ever." It was the smile on his face as I pulled him close and told him that was what it was, but that I always wanted to know about his day and would always ask.
Those were what got to me.
But while all of these moments made me cringe a little inside, I still found myself excited for Agent M. His teacher seems to be amazing. He was so happy to see his best friend before and after class. And even though he is getting bigger, he is still my little guy who sat in my lap while we played an "I Spy" type of game after we got home from school and settled. It could have been worse. It could have been his first day of high school.