Okay, so, sure it was BigBrother’s first year of preschool. But if you really think about it, this was also my first year of preschool. I never went to preschool! (What? It was the 80’s and we lived in the country. No one went to preschool.) More over, I have learned so much as a mother in the past nine months thanks to his attendance at his preschool.
Sure, sure. He learned things. Lots of things! And, maybe more important to me this year than anything else, he really came out of his shell. He made friends. He also now says “hello” to people when we are out and about. (At this time last year and possibly even up until February of this year, he would hide behind me, ignore them or make his defensive growling sound.) He’s become a social being in the past year and is now able to follow the instructions of someone other than myself or FireDad. All of that’s totally awesome. I have no doubt that we made the right decision to send him a year early.
And he’s grown since that first day!
But me? What have I learned?
1) I’m never going to be that Perfect Mom. I’m not crafty. The other moms give better Halloween (and Valentine’s Day and Christmas and and and) treat bags. I am thankful that I am an involved, caring mother but I am never going to be perfect. Nope. Not going to happen.
2) Book orders are the best thing on the planet. End of discussion.
3) My child is a different child for other people. A well-behaved, well-mannered child at that. I know this should make me feel good; my parenting lessons are sinking into his three and a half year old brain. But, really, would it be so hard for him to use his ears at home? Is that too much to ask? Yes. Shucks.
4) Letting go is difficult. He had an issue with a bully-type child at school. Every time BigBrother told me that he got pushed or hit or punched, I wanted to call the teachers and ask for something to be done. I knew, however, that they were working with the other child and, as such, I just had to tell my (precious) boy that we don’t push or hit back; tell a teacher immediately.
5) The moment we let go and allow our children to mix with other children, they’re going to bring home words that we don’t use. Some of it was adorable. That one time when he told me that it was time to “rock and roll?” I laughed until I cried. Some other words made my head spin a little bit and I had to explain that some words are ugly and can hurt other people’s feelings. In fact, we talked a lot about feelings this year. I figure we’ll be doing that for quite some time.
6) He still needs me. Despite the physical, emotional and independent growth he has experienced this year, the truth remains: he still needs me. He does! I had feared, when he started school, that I was somewhat replaceable, that these teachers would soon replace me as my son’s favorite person to turn to when the going got tough. That’s not the case. In the middle of the night, he calls for me. He still asks me to read him books despite the fact that his teachers read to him as well. He still wants me to play with him, to engage in imagination games and to put together puzzles or play games. I’m still needed. I’m still wanted. And I think that’s an important thing to remember.
I dropped him off awhile ago, snapping pictures: first of him, then of both he and his girlfriend. He was animated but still generally sad that school is “over.” He has also informed me that he is going to college next year where he will have a Buzz Lightyear bed. Also, Yia Yia (Greek for grandmother, meaning my Mom) is going to go to college with him. Why not me? Because I have to take care of LittleBrother, of course. Logic from a three year old. Who knew?
I’ll pick him up in two hours. He’ll tell me all about his day. FireDad and I will make a big deal out of the last day of school, just as we did the first day of school. We’ll have a present ready for him. We’ll make a special meal. We’ll probably run around in the yard afterward (as the thundershowers have been magically postponed). And then, tonight, I’ll put him to bed. He’s not the same little boy I put to bed nine months ago. He’s older. Wiser. And a heck of a lot funnier. But he’s still my little boy. The little boy who still loves school as much as he did on Orientation Day.
Now onto summer… what will we learn together this summer?