Sep 13, 2016 by Krysta
Today was a big day in our household. It was exciting, emotional, and one of the toughest days I've experienced in my parenting journey thus far. Today, my daughter started preschool. It reaffirmed what I already knew... I am the biggest, most clingy, emotional wreck of a mama.
Last week we went to her orientation day. She met her teacher, played with toys, read some books, and reluctantly greeted her soon-to-be classmates. She loved it, and didn't want to leave when it was time to go. Of course, I was by her side the entire time. I've been by her side for almost every moment of her 3 years on this planet, so the thought of dropping her off with brand new people and leaving the premises weighed heavy on my mind. I wasn't sure that I'd have the strength to go through with it. In my defence, she just turned 3 a few days ago so this was a lot of growing up for me to embrace in such a short amount of time.
I had to remind myself of my reasons for sending her to pre-school in the first place. The social interaction with kids her age and the new experiences would be great for my busy little girl. A bit of one-on-one time for Briley and I was just an added bonus.
She had her pink backpack, her running shoes labeled with her name, and her brand new outfit that she picked out herself on a special trip to the mall. She was ready, even if I wasn't.
We talked about how much fun she'd have, and that Mommy would be back after she was all done playing. We arrived early and I took some photos while we waited for Ryan to show up for moral support. We each held one of her hands, went inside, hung up her backpack and put on her indoor shoes that she'd been waiting 2 weeks to wear.
I was a nervous wreck as I waited for the classroom door to open, and when it did I led her inside. I turned around to realize that all of the other parents had said goodbye at the door, so I gave her a kiss, told her that Mommy had to go, and bolted for the door. I didn't look back, because my daughter happens to posses the biggest, saddest, puppy dog eyes and one glimpse of them would have me scooping her up and taking her home. As I walked back into the hallway, I heard her start to cry and fought back my own tears. It didn't take long for her to stop crying, and when we peeked in the door on our way back to the car, she was already distracted and playing.
It was the strangest feeling, getting into my car and driving away without her. Ryan, Briley and I went for lunch so that I could drown my sorrows in pizza and an affogato. After lunch, Ryan returned to work while Briley and I did a bit of retail therapy. Before I knew it, it was almost time to pick Aaralee up!
While waiting for class to finish, I checked her mail slot to find my first newsletter and her first preschool craft... cue fighting back more tears. I was so relieved that she'd made it through the day all by herself.
The door opened, and I rushed to greet her. She glanced up, saw me at the door, and then carried on playing. All of my stress and worrying was for nothing, Aaralee loved her first day of school and I am so, so proud of her. She said goodbye to her teacher, we collected her things, and headed home. She had so much to tell me! She'd played, sang, made crafts, and her favourite part of the day was snack time... obviously.
When we got home, we went for a walk and she quickly fell asleep. School is tiring!
Here's hoping that drop offs get easier from here on out. I can't believe that my sweet, tiny little girl is already in preschool.