It's Harder Than I Thought...
My 4 year old has been wanting to go to school forever. I tried to enroll her into SureStart...it's a Pre-K program...but she didn't get in. So I kept her home all summer long with me and her brother and sister. We hung out together all summer, riding bikes, going on picnics and giving one another a good squirt with the water guns a few times.
In the afternoons we worked on lessons like shapes and numbers...you know, the kind of stuff they teach in kindergarten. She did well, she has always been smart. She knows her colors in English and in Spanish, same for her numbers. She of course knows all her shapes and learned how to write her first and last name. I pumped her up all summer about how exciting school would be, and all the new "big kid" friends she would make. Her anticipation grew and as the days depleted she grew more and more excited.
The first day of school...day after Labor Day. She woke up bright eyed and bushy- tailed ready to head out the door still in her PJ's. I was excited for her, and she dubbed her first day of school as her "lucky day." She called Grandpa before we left to remind him that this was her lucky day.
We arrived at her classroom door and Ms. W. greeted her and the rest of the pupils with a great big smile and let the herd of happy, scared and some of them crying students into the door. I was so proud of her, she went in like a champ. There were parents standing all around the room, and there were flashes from cameras going off every few seconds. They were stars in the eyes of every parent there. I was no exception...I probably snapped the most pictures of my precious sitting on the brightly colored carpet like the angel I wish she would act like at home.
The teacher's aid asked each parent how their child would get home that day. My turn came. I had planned on picking her up that day but found out the night before that I wouldn't have a car available to do so. So she would have to ride the bus home...I was disappointed, but I had prepared her for the bus ride home. I felt awful as every other parent remarked that they would pick their child up, and I had to respond that she would take the bus home. The teacher jokingly told me how awful I was, but when she saw that I had taken it to heart she recanted and reached out to hug me. Now, I had been fighting tears ALL morning. From the time I woke my little girl up, to making her lunch for the first time, to walking up to the classroom door. A hug was the last thing my emotions needed.
I tried so hard not to break down, but I did. I turned away from my little girl so she wouldn't see me wimp out. I briefly pulled it together long enough to smile at her and blow her a few kisses. Then I left, walking down the sidewalk missing her so much already.
I have always been with her since the day she was born. I saw everything she learned to do. The first time she smiled, the first laugh, when she crawled, when she took her first step, her first word...I didn't miss a beat. I wonder what she is learning without me being able to see it. I wish I could be a fly on the wall...
When she gets off of the bus, I always give her a big hug and we talk about what she learned in school today.
The little piece that I had to let go of, I miss...it's hard letting go, no matter how big or small of a piece you let go of.