Life Moments column
By Christine Bryant
My daughter is weeks away from starting preschool – a momentous occasion for any child and parents.
While she seems excited – every morning she asks if it’s time to go to school – I’m feeling more anxious, not knowing how she will fare in a classroom of 20 or so other 4- and 5-year-olds.
I think sometimes we don’t give kids enough credit. They have incredible resiliency – able to adapt to most situations and come out on the other end just fine. Sure, there are bumps in the road, but often those bumps are more painful for us as parents.
Still, I worry.
Will she like it? Will she follow instructions? Will she be OK without me?
I worry about whether her spunkiness that can be both frustrating and charming will affect her experience as a preschooler. I worry about whether she will make friends, and look forward to going to school each time. I even worry about whether she will eat, even though she is only there for just over two hours.
Every possible thought has gone through my mind – including the one I think many parents dread most on the first day – separation anxiety.
However, I’m more worried about my own separation anxiety than hers.
Anyone who knows my daughter knows she is anything but shy. I fully expect her to push me out the door, giving me half a wave as she embarks upon this new journey in her life. I may get a, “See ya, Mom,” if I’m lucky.
Nearly everything I can find online about the first day of preschool involves how to prepare your child for the big day – basically, how to send them off without tears.
Answer their questions, read books, visit the school, have conversations before the first day – all great advice. But what about tears on my end? How do I prepare for the inevitable waterworks that will happen as I walk out the door?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy she is growing up. But every day I look at her and see her baby features slowly going away, and a little part of me wishes I could keep her small forever.
Though I’m anxious for the first day of preschool to come, I know how important of a day this is. Maybe I’ll shed a few tears – maybe I’ll shed a lot of tears when I get back to the car – but I plan to make the most of it. After all, this day only comes once in a child’s life, and how fortunate I am to witness it.
Christine Bryant is a Messenger staff writer.
A wonderful writing, brought back memories of those same days in my life. I really enjoy Christine Bryant’s writings – always looking forward for her next one.