A “Dancing with the Stars” pro dancer marked a major milestone with his son.
DWTS season 18 champion Maksim Chmerkovskiy welcomed his son, Shai Aleksandr, with his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, on January 4, 2017, per People. “This is, without a doubt, the best thing that has ever happened to us!’” the celebrity couple said at the time.
Since that time, fans have watched Shai grow up. In late 2019, he started preschool. “It’s been, like, 10 months since he’s gone to school, so we’re just trying to keep up with the new things that we can get him to do,” Murgatroyd told Us Weekly at the time.
Fast forward a few years and Shai started “big boy” school – and at first, his dad didn’t handle it so well.
Maks Chmerkovskiy Posted Photos From His Son’s 1st Day of Kindergarten
In an Instagram post on September 6, 2022, Chmerkovskiy shared a photo of his son Shai on his first day of school. The five-year-old wore a blue polo shirt as part of a school uniform as he held up a “First Day of Kindergarten” sign. On the sign, Shai’s age was listed as well as his teacher, Mrs. Marshall, and his dreams for the future: “I want to be a boat driver when I grow up,” the sign said.
“First day of kindergarten!” Chmerkovskiy captioned the pic. “Shai is excited, [Peta Murgatroyd] is devastated, pops (me) is not ok. The whole ‘blink and he’s an adult’ thing is too real. Tearing up in the parking lot….again.”
In a second post, the proud dad posted a video of his son in the schoolyard with his backpack on his back. Shai stood amid some other kids in the schoolyard as parents waited with them. Chmerkovskiy captioned the video with, “Best job I’ve ever had,” but in the video, it was clear that the parenting job was also his hardest.
“Not okay,” an emotional Chmerkovskiy admitted in the video. “Why is he so big? Maybe if I sit down he won’t appear so big.”
“Why are so adult?” Chmerkovskiy asked his son. “Are you ready?” he asked, as Shai began walking toward the school building. Chmerkovskiy then made a crying face as his little boy embarked on his new journey.
Fans, family, and friends reacted to the post.
“What a buddy,” wrote Maks’ brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, next to a series of heart emoji.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy Admitted He Was ‘Tearing Up’ All Day
Five years ago, when Shai was just nine months old, his famous parents marveled over how fast he was growing. With kindergarten far off in the horizon, Chmerkovskiy told In Touch he loved watching his boy grow into a toddler but noted how fast it was all going.
“First it was the smile and the giggle. Then it was the crawl,” the DWTS champ said. “Now Shai is climbing and standing by himself. It’s exciting to see all of this and experience it with him. I don’t want to blink.”
Time did fly by, and in September 2022, Chmerkovskiy explained why he got so emotional over sending his son off to school.
“Been tearing up all day today, ever since I dropped off Shai,” Chmerkovskiy told fans in a third IG post. The dancer explained that at first he wasn’t sure exactly why, then realized it was because he had been getting his son ready to explore the outside world and have his own experiences and wondered if he did “enough” to prepare him. “All of the sudden I got anxious,” Chmerkovskiy admitted, “Maybe it’s the responsibility, in the way Peta and I parent. Have we done enough?”
Chmerkovskiy added that he doesn’t trust the world right now, but thinks his son will make “some serious change” in the world someday.
“I am emotional AF,” the “Dancing with the Stars” alum added.