Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bittersweet

Our family of four has reached yet another milestone.  On Thursday evening, we said our good-byes to preschool.  Gasp.  We have been attending said preschool since Delaney was almost 2, so that makes 6 years.  6 years of forming some of the most awesome relationships ever with teachers, friends, preschool directors.  And not just for my girls but for me as well. 

I remember Delaney's first year so well.  It was hard for us both but I knew in my heart she needed it, even though it was only 2 days per week from 9-1.  It was hard for Delaney as she had been with no one other than Doug and myself.  I walked her into school, showered her with hugs and kisses, got reassurance from the teachers and director that all would be fine.  I asked if I could call and check in to see how she was doing.  "Of course!"  So I left her and will never forget the cries I could hear behind me as she realized what was happening.  Those cries were like a dagger piercing my heart as I wanted to run back to her and scoop her in my arms and reassure her that yes, I love you and I will never leave you.  But as we all know, I did not do that.  I left her in the care of her teachers, and with a heavy heart, I walked to my car and drove to a nearby coffee shop where a few other moms were holed up drinking coffee and nervously glancing at their cell phones, making sure they didn't miss any calls.  We passed the time talking, drinking, eating and bit by bit, we each began to relax.  After an hour or so, I bravely called the preschool to check in on my girl.  "Doing great!  Cried for a minute when you left and now she's playing with some toys."  I breathed a sigh of relief and hung up.  So we developed a pattern that year on school days.  I would walk Delaney into preschool each and every day.  I would give kisses and hugs.  I would leave and hear my girl screaming bloody-fricking-murder in the background.  I would come back 4 hours later to squeals of delight upon seeing me and updates from Ms. Dana on how she did that particular day. 

Delaney's following year was a little different.  I had promised the preschool director, Laura, that I would not walk Delaney in any more and I would adhere to the "rules" and drop her off in car line.  Let me just say quickly, I fell in love with Laura the previous year when I knew she wanted me to drop off Delaney in car line, but never ever forced me to do so.  I just wasn't ready.  She never nagged me or tried to coax me into it.  She accepted the fact that I was a bit neurotic and let it ride.  So this second year around, I gave myself a pep talk and repeated to myself, "you can do this, you can do this."  I drove up in car line, unbuckled Delaney, and handed her over to the teacher awaiting her on the sidewalk.  She looked up at me and started BAWLING.  My momma bear instincts wanted me to scoop her up, buckle her back in her car seat and drive home.  Again, I did not.  Another hurdle completed.  More guilt.  More heartache.  As we mommas know, life is full of these moments.







Fast forward two years, and now it's Hadley's time to shine.  Time for her to make her preschool debut.  And thanks to the wonderful example big sister set and Hadley observed for two years, it went off without a hitch.  Delaney held her hand and together they walked into preschool, leaving their neurotic mother watching from her car and trying to hold back tears of pure happiness.  Tears because life is ever-changing.  There's always a new beginning around the corner.  Whether it's exciting or scary or maybe both, you try to embrace it and put the best spin on it possible.  While I know there is absolutely nothing I can do to slow down the years as they go flying past me, I find myself saying good-bye to one aspect of our lives and welcoming something new.  As I say good-bye to preschool and hello to elementary school, it's with a heavy heart.  Yes, the kids are just fine.  Yes, Hadley couldn't be more excited.  Elementary school is going to give me more of my life back, time for me to pursue some of my dreams and/or resurrect old thoughts and/or hobbies.  So the Alexanders are closing one chapter of our lives and opening a brand new one.  Here goes nothing...

1 comment:

Greta said...

You did it, Mama Bear!

Here's to new and exciting chapters in our lives!