Some things you count down to because they’re so exciting, like vacations and payday. Some things you count down to because you’re dreading them, but realize since you can’t freeze time, they will inevitably happen (more quickly than you are ready for).
I’m writing this as a two-part post, a bit of a before-and-after. The past week or so has been rough. For the past 5 years, Lydia has been home with me, except around 7 months for a few weeks, I had friends babysit her so I could return to work briefly, and then 6 weeks of daycare when she was about 18 months. So that means that since about 19 months old, she’s been all mine. At the age of 3, she began speech therapy three times a week for 30 minutes each time. This was a rough transition for me. I didn’t really know what to expect, and the only time the speech therapist could provide services to her was at 11:00, which limited our playdates 3 out of 5 weekdays. But you know what? Lydia’s speech has improved significantly over the last 2 years, so much so that I feel confident not putting her in speech this year. If we need to re-address it again in Kindergarten, we will.
So for the last year, each time we’ve driven past Temple Beth Torah during the day together, I’ve told her that it would be her big girl school. It’s where she would go for PreK when she got bigger. Well, she’s bigger now. And tomorrow is the official “big” day. I feel my stomach churning just thinking about it. PreK is only 3 hours a day, but it’s everyday. And once you begin school, you’re always in school. Yes, I know there are weekends and holidays and summer breaks, but this is it. My little girl is a big girl in school.
I know Lydia will do well. She’s already mastered most skills needed when she was in daycare, and she hasn’t even started her first day of PreK. She will make new friends, and I will have time to provide Bryce with some individual attention, which he’s never received being the younger child. It will also give me time to run some errands while monitoring just one child. All of these are great …but so scary! Because now, someone else will discipline her. Someone else will teach her. Someone else will comfort her when she is crying. She may be hurting, and I won’t be there to help her. Lydia will own my heart forever, she’s my favorite girl in the world, and tomorrow, I feel like she’s a big girl. She’s my big girl.
We went to the PreK orientation last Thursday, and Lydia was so excited. Her teachers seemed wonderful. They have been working together for almost 20 years. Here are a few pictures from that night.
I woke up this morning feeling more at peace with this huge change in our lives. New routine, new schedule, new parenting experiences. Lydia was excited, and I was genuinely happy for her. We walked her into the classroom (Daddy left work just to be with us during this special moment), and she immediately began her coloring activity. She transitioned beautifully! I created this image to embrace all that my amazing daughter is today, on her first real day of school.
And here Lydia is checking into school. This is part of their daily routine. They check out of school at pick-up.
School will offer Lydia all that I cannot offer her at home, and I am okay with that. In fact, I’m excited about that. After school, I treated her to pizza for lunch, and now we’re going to make chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches as a special treat. We can still spend lots of time together doing special things.
Today was a different day for my family… but different can be great, too. We’re ready for this!