Sunday, September 5, 2010
Noah's First Day of Preschool
Once upon a time there was a sweet, towheaded little 3-year-old boy. By all accounts he was an exceptionally happy little guy, precocious and bright as they come. The little boy was adored by his family and spent many blissful hours at home with his trains and trucks. But then came the day that would begin to change and shape the little boy's world forever: his first day of preschool.
His mommy was told she was supposed to be sad. She was told she was even supposed to cry. She read many a post and saw many a picture on Facebook describing this tearful moment in detail. But the little boy's mommy felt a bit like the Wicked Witch because she was not sad, not at all.
The little boy's mommy was also told she was supposed to subject herself to much stress and consternation in selecting a preschool for the little boy, but she didn't do that either. The little boy's mommy has faith in the fine school district in the little boy's town, and thus feels confident the community education preschool program will be just fine. More than fine. The little boy's mommy was typically a major Type-A, overachiever personality, but found herself increasingly annoyed by the concept of parenting as a competitive sport that seemed to run rampant in this particular corner of the kingdom.
In fact, the little boy's mommy almost lost it at her book club when some other little boys' and girls' mommies gasped and insisted a certain preschool was "the BEST!" and that the little boy's mommy needed to put her little boy's name on the big long waiting list immediately. But when the little boy's mommy questioned them about what made it the best (curriculum? accreditation? student-teacher ratio?) the other little boys' and girls' mommies could not provide anything other than "because everyone knows it's the best." So the little boy's mommy waved her magic wand and poof! She made the book club disappear from her calendar.
So why wasn't the little boy's mommy sad about this momentous milestone? She was too excited, and so was he. Well, there was that slight misunderstanding when the little boy's mommy told him he would be in the "Bear Room" at preschool and the little boy cried and cried because he feared he would be the only little boy in a room full of bears. But the little boy's mommy dried his tears, explained the situation and whipped up a mystical, magical concoction of chocolate and dough and all was forgotten.
The little boy's mommy was excited because she just knew this was the start of something amazing. You see, the little boy's mommy still feels butterflies when she sees a brand new box of Crayola crayons, the one with 64 different colors and the built-in sharpener on the side. The little boy's mommy's toes still tingle when she remembers slipping her feet into a new pair of Stride Rite saddle shoes, carefully measured to ensure at least one thumb's room to grow. The little boy's mommy smells the exhaust of a passing school bus and is transported back to a faraway land where the coolest of the cool kids sat in the WAY back (the little boy's mommy sat in the front) on the ride to that other kingdom.
And though the little boy's mommy knows all too well that the other kingdom is not always ruled by the kindest of rulers, and though she dreads that moment the little boy bumps his head or skins his knee and she is not there to "fix" it with kisses, though she fears the loss of control that comes with sending him out of the confines of his stuffed animal filled room, the little boy's mommy remains so excited about what is to come.
That's because the little boy's mommy knows that school is where he needs to go. The little boy's mommy knows that the journey that begins with brightly colored blocks and little seeds growing in paper cups and line leaders will help build the little boy's future, nourish his mind, and direct his future.
And while the little boy's mommy hopes she will always be the little boy's primary teacher, she acknowledges that she herself has so much to learn. The little boy's mommy will always love being his playmate, but knows her job is not to be his best friend. As the little boy's mommy prays the other little boys and girls will be nice to her little boy, she knows the world is not always kind, and that is one of the most important lessons and difficult lessons the little boy will ever learn (aside from how to diagram a sentence, which the little boy's mommy really hopes is still taught because the little boy's mommy fears that the way things are going the little boy's first spelling word might be LOL or OMG). The little boy's mommy wants her little boy to fill his little head with as much information as it can hold, and still come back wanting more. Forever and ever, happily ever after school and before school and during school.
So the little boy's mommy will load up his Thomas the Tank Engine backpack and pack some kleenex for herself, just in case she changes her mind about the whole crying thing. And then, hand in hand, the little boy and his mommy will set forth on this grand adventure called school.
And thus this tale concludes without a typical ending, in fact with no ending at all.
Happy first day of school, little boy.