When it was time to leave I gave Hannah her backpack (aka: pack pack) to put on. Rather the put it on her back she placed it on the floor and opened it. When I questioned what she was doing she said, ‘I’m just checking to make sure everything is here. That’s what big girls do!’ Heh!!
Family were invited to stay for the first bit of class so I followed Hannah around as she explored her new classroom. Her first stop was one of her favourite play areas – the kitchen.
At 9:00 everyone was called to circle time. We sang together, talked about some of the fun things the kids will do at preschool and then the teacher read, ‘The Kissing Hand.’
In this book Chester Racoon is nervous about his first day at school and leaving Mommy behind. Mommy places a kiss in each of his paws to remind him that she loves him and that she’s always close. The next day as Chester prepares to go to school he asks Mommy for her paws and he places a kiss in each of them to remind her that he loves her.
Hannah hopped up on my lap for the reading of the story and held my thumbs which is something she does for comfort. I don’t think she was overly nervous but just the normal bit of concern about something new.
When the story was over the teacher said it was time to say goodbye to Mommy, Grandma and Grandpa and that we’d be back soon. She hopped off my lap, spun around and grabbed my hands and placed kisses in each palm. I did the same for her, told her I loved her and then she was off and running! She ran across the room to Grandma and Grandpa, kissed their hands too and then she was off playing! Neither of us cried (ok, Mommy teared up a bit when we first waked in the classroom and I saw the hook with her name above it) but not when it was time to go. Hannah was so happy and the goodbye happened so quickly that I just kinda walked out and that was it – my baby was at preschool!
I had taken the day off work (and tomorrow morning also) so was now ‘free’ for 2 hours and wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. Mom, Dad and I went out for breakfast and then I did a little running around but I tell you, I missed my little munchkin the entire time! When it was time to pick her up she came running and was excited to tell me all about her first day! She had a great time, made and alligator out of the letter A, coloured an apple and much more! In the car she began to sing the ‘Welcome’ song that the teacher sang at the beginning of the class after hearing it only once. I know my little girl is ready for preschool and I’m excited to watch her grow, learn and flourish!! When she woke up this morning one of her first questions was, ‘Do I get to go to preschool today?’
I realized something new yesterday. In the past whenever I heard about parents crying when their children went to school I thought it was because they were going to miss them. Yesterday I realized the tears I had were not because I would miss Hannah but that my baby girl is growing up and life will never be quite as it has been. School will now be part of our lives and will be for a very long time. My baby is no longer a baby. She’s a ‘big girl’ (as she would tell you) and there will now be many outside influences on her little life that I cannot control. I know it’s a good thing and that I’ll be there every step of the way learning with her and helping her but yes, my little girl is officially in preschool….and she’s ready to soar!