Thursday, March 31, 2016
Two days ago we took this brown eyed beauty to her preschool tour and I've been feeling all the feelings ever since. She'll be starting next Fall, and watching her wander the halls, cautiously introducing herself to teachers (pretty sure it's the first thing she's ever done cautiously) and taking in all the sights with big round eyes was completely surreal. My heart was bursting because I knew she is so ready for this and how much she'll thrive. But it's funny how heart bursts can also feel a little like heart breaks. She's only four and this is the last completely carefree year of her little life. After this summer flies by we'll be packing her up and dropping her off at her very first classroom, and for every year after that in the short little while we get to have her under our roof we'll only have summers and holidays to just be together. Every day of the last four years has just been us, doing our thing. Playing. And I haven't done the exact math, but I'm pretty sure those four years are about as many carefree holiday days as we have left until she goes to college. It just makes me want to grab her and hold on tight and never let go.
You should be proud of me though, I held it together through the tour and only had to catch my breath and hold back tears once as the Director explained the three programs the kids put on through the year and how much of a difference you'll see from the first to the last performance. Suddenly I was picturing all the "first day of school" and "last day of school" pictures, and how awed I am each year by everyone else's kids growing up so fast...and now it's me. It's my kid.
It's silly, as usual, because it's only 2 1/2 hours, 3 days a week. I know, it's just 7 1/2 hours a week of her being gone, but it's still a little bit excruciating, and it's not just the time. It's the idea that this is the beginning of a new family era. The beginning of so many highs and lows. School is tough, and peers are tough. And for the first time we won't be basically the only influence on her and her behavior. And I won't be there to protect her when kids are mean, which we all know they will be. And of course everyone goes through all of this, and we survive, and the trials and struggles make us better and stronger. I know that I can't and shouldn't and don't really even want to protect her from 4 year old struggles because then she won't be able to handle 15 year old struggles or 30 year old struggles, and let's not even get into the whole millennial issue... But it's new territory, and new is always just a bit scary, no matter how exciting. Even (maybe especially?) when you're the mom.
Even with all the bittersweets, I'm so so SO excited for her. The school is so cute and I know she's going to excel in every imaginable way. She's going to absolutely love it. So I guess I better figure out a way to loosen my grip in the next 5 months, because if there's any certainty in anything it's that I have exactly 0% chance of success in homeschooling. :)