Thursday, September 01, 2005

A rite of passage for mother and daughter

Dylan started preschool today. This is one of those events that nothing can really prepare you for. I thought I was prepared; I researched schools, visited each one, interviewed each director, watched Dylan at each school and eventually chose one that happens to be the only accredited preschool in town. What does it all mean? Nothing. All the preparation and research means shit when you actually have to leave your child in the care of someone you realize you barely know. Sure I spent an entire day there, sure the school comes highly recommended by many people, but I still felt really sad leaving Dylan today. I cried all the way home.

Last night, she wanted to know when she was going to get to go back to school (Tuesday was orientation so we spent the day there, but I had to stay with her). I told her “Tomorrow.” She asked if I was going to leave her like Blanks mom leaves her at school. I told her, yes, that is how school works. We go together, then she gets to stay and play with her friends and then I will be back soon to pick her up. She said, hummmm I will be REALLY sad if you leave me like Blank’s mom does. Dylan was obviously apprehensive, she must have spoken to Blank and Blank must have told her a few stories… (not surprising since Blank also told her our horse died from eating a poison apple…)

Anyway, Dylan did really well this morning. She was so excited to take her backpack filled with paperwork and “Sir Trenton,” a plastic horse for sharing. She walked right up to the director, opened her backpack and handed over the paperwork, she then told her about Sir Trenton. Dylan’s teacher asked her to put her sharing object in the sharing basket and I thought, uh-oh, she is not going to easily give up that horse, but surprise, she handed him right over! Good girl! Then she sat down with the other kids and started working on a project with scissors. She looked liked a seasoned preschooler. I walked up, kissed her, said I would pick her up after school and she said, “Mommy, NO!” Then she looked down at her scissors and realized she had to make a decision, go home with me because I was walking out, or stay and play with the scissors… she said, “OK, you can go.” The end. No tears, no whining, no wave goodbye. Just a happy, well-adjusted kid ready to explore school.

I got in the car and tried really hard not to run over any kids because I couldn’t see through my tears.


At 12:16 AM, Anonymous CarrieB said...

Awwww Kath, I'm all teary now.
I took Jack to Meet Your Professor Day (our school is big on the "higher education" theme) and he was so excited he couldn't stand it. I don't think the transition to kindergarten will be as tough because he did attend preschool. I know full well I'll be a mess when Delaney goes. How strange it will be to have a quiet house for hours at a time.

Preschool is so important these days. Tough to let go at first, but so important to prepare her for a lifetime of learning.

Good job mommy!


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