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Jax hanging with my in my office until preschools starts.

Today my son will begin preschool. At the college where I work.

On-site expletiving quality childcare!

I have never felt so adult. Or so blessed. Or so…

I have feels. Yes, first day of preschool feels, and feels about how my son is almost three and a half years old. But nearly every parent has those feels. I’m not adding to that conversation by getting all weepy about Jax growing out of his 3Ts.

The feels I want to write about concern the growth-in-tandem I’m necessarily experiencing with Jax, the parallels between our adventures. The growing up I’m doing.

And of course, the rebellion-tinged refusal to fully grow up TOO much. I am still me.

But grownup me is filling out paperwork to have Jax’s preschool costs taken directly from my paycheck (a nice employee discount for the Early Childhood Education Center at Juniata College means full days now cost me about what half days were costing me before. Both grown-up and not-so-grown-up me be like woot!). Grownup me got enthusiastic permission from my boss to bring the new preschooler along to the office in the mornings, where we will breakfast together in the break room before taking the trek across campus when the Center opens.

Grownup me looks at real estate listings and monitors her credit score. Grownup me has a 401k.

Grownup me made a winter emergency car kit: water, extra sippy cup, extra scraper, homemade de-icer (2 parts rubbing alcohol, one part water), rock salt, two down blankets, car jack and flares, lighter, and flashlight, in a waterproof bin.

Grownup me has been to the dentist and eye doctor in a week’s time, and scheduled a physical and annual, too.

Now. Let me be real a minute. I should not be patted on the back for being an adult. I AM an adult. I’ve been quite a high-functioning and independent one for a long time, too. Except that I stopped taking care of myself for a few years, and I’m back to it again, so even just going to the damn doctor feels like progress. Now, my new definition of Adult means, yes, go to work and pay your bills, but also take freakin care of yourself.

I know you can’t be a good mom if you’re falling apart. Well, maybe you can, but not for long.

Sometimes I’ll be wearing my rad and perfectly ragged vintage True Religion jeans and coloring in my mandala coloring book while listening to Foo Fighters and wondering when my next Buffy comic is going to come in the mail and think, with trademark adolescent sarcasm, yeah, I’m adulting sooooo hard right now. And also that I wish someone would bring in a plate of cookies or make me dinner. But mostly the adulting hard thing.

And know what? Yeah. I am. And today is my smart and sweet and awesome kiddo’s first day of real school.