Friday, September 6, 2013

First Day of Preschool

"Ok, Bella, time to get ready for preschool," I say nonchalantly because I was trying a new approach where I don't make a big deal about her very first day of preschool. 
Day of (pre)SCHOOL. 

I've been thinking about this day since I was babysitting everyone else's kids in my youth, dreaming of this day through my first pregnancy and totally, high pitched giddy about this day since May when we signed her up. I know that sounds very grandiose, but I promise I'm not exaggerating. Sending my own child into school for the first time I imagined to be a remarkable milestone with emotions I would never quite understand. 

Here it was. Our first day of preschool and it started off with a giant, hissy, whiney fit. She wouldn't get dressed, wanted to watch that God awful Bratz movie on Netflix (one of the very few titles I don't let her watch) and everything was just so unfair to her because she had to stop watching her 3rd show that morning to get ready. FOR THE FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL. (I know, 3 SHOWS, how awful of meI was slow going with back trouble and getting showered and dressed and an infant fed and ready took the length of 3 shows.)

We talked it out and regained composure and we talked lightly about the day as we got dressed.
"We'll go see daddy so he can take our picture and then we'll go to school and Baabaa will stay in the car and then we'll go eat lunch with daddy and then we'll go home and lay down."
"What we doing after nap?"
"I'm not sure yet."
"Ok. Mommy?"
"Me no want you to come with me to school."
"You want me to drop you off?"
"Ok, Sweety. That's a great idea. I'm going to go blow dry my hair and then I would like you to come in here so I can do your hair."

I go to her bathroom and close the door and cry. 

That was the plan all along. The plan was to drop her off. This was her first day with no parents and I was so excited to drop her off and take Isla for a stroll down Massachusetts Street.

But she asked me to let her be. And I wasn't prepared for that. This is the very start of her not needing me anymore. Not as much. And I've been waiting for it. Bracing for it. Looking forward to it, even. But it's different when it actually happens. 

When she voluntarily lets go of your hand and walks bravely into the world. My heart wasn't ready.

She let go of my hand, walked calmly into her classroom and I watched her little Dora back pack bounce around the corner. She hardly gave a goodbye because she was so ready. 

An hour later, I anxiously awaited for the classroom door to open and the kids to come swarming out. I watched and shuffled the stroller around and jabbered to people and watched more. I was distracted by something when I was almost knocked over by her enormously fierce little hug around my legs. Perfect. 

It took all of two minutes for her to go back to being a little twerp so all of the pangs of parenthood and growing up were snuffed quickly. But I'll take it. So very soon she'll be going into elementary school, then having boy troubles, then asking me hard questions and then she's grown up experiencing hard questions. 

So, I'll take this. And the fights over Bratz.