It's true, I only have one little one left at home this year. Emily is thrilled to have mommy all to herself during the day. Even though she's not in "school" as the other kids like to remind her she is in Pre-School. Emily was lucky enough to get the same Pre-School teacher Sarah had last year! WA-HOO! I loved Sarah's teacher and I requested that Emily be in her class this year. Emily felt like she knew her teacher already and that help tremendously with the her separation anxiety. She still had a bit of a time, but she did VERY well.
I'll start with her Open House. It was a lot of fun because right when we got there she saw her teacher and aid from last year! She gave both of them big hugs. She and her friend Bella, who were in the same class last year but not this year, had been talking about how much they missed their old teachers. Then she saw her new teacher! After a quick orientation in the Chapel of the school, she attends a Church of Christ Pre-School, we headed to the classrooms to meet with the teachers.
At each of the chairs there was a little stuffed animal with a child's name on it and little bag of treats. All the kids got to color a paper while the parents listened to instructions from the teacher. Basically how much we pay, when to whom and all the other "stuff" we need to get and purchase and sign up for. LOL!
The next day was Emily's special Back to School dinner and blessing night. Emily chose her absolute favorite meal-NOODLES! It's homemade beef stroganoff but she just calls it NOODLES! She also picked fresh strawberries for the fruit (that's my girl!) and her most favorite veggie-corn. Only Emily would have to pick ALL the details out of her meal. The other kids just cared about the main dish. :)
For dessert she simply wanted Brownies. Have I taught this child right or what?! Chocolate, pasta and strawberries-I'd say she's good to go. But not yet!! Tee Hee! In the morning she asked me to make her an egg sandwich-with NO crunchies. Crunchies are bits of sea salt. We love ground sea salt but the chunks are too strong for her liking. Then we packed her book bag, got dressed and headed out the door!
I barely got a picture of her running to the van. She was so excited! At the school I got her to take a few more photos for me. After all it is her LAST year of Pre-School. She could be the last child of mine to go through Pre-School! It's a good thing she loves me "big so much" and is able to put up with my stubbornness at letting her grow up. :) Once we got into the classroom she became pretty clingy and bit timid. She only had two classmates from her class last year and they were both boys. All of Emily's girlfriends ended up in the same class. Talk about feeling like the one left out! There was a group of girls and a couple of boys off and on that were playing with a very cool castle Lego set and My Little Pony's. After a lot of coaxing she started to play with them. That didn't last very long though and soon she was wanting to show me all the little things her teacher had up on the walls. One was the Behavior chart that had all the kids names on apples.
Eventually I had to pull us both away from each other and give a final hug and kiss do a special little ritual that helps and then head out the door. I didn't get too far mind you. I talked with a few parents in the hallway for a bit and then after several minutes peaked back in the room to make sure she was ok. She was. I started to cry though feeling very alone for her and for myself. She was sitting at a table all by herself playing with a stack of Lego's. The kids she was playing with earlier were at another table and all the other kids were on the floor playing games. Just so you know she moved the Lego's over to a table by herself-the other kids did not leave her.So as I walked out the long hall and then down the longs stairs and through the long gym out to the never ending sidewalk I did my best to maintain my composure. I had gotten in a crowd of parents leaving and though we weren't really talking to each other much we were all just trying to make it out the doors acting relieved to have some alone time before we fell apart privately in our cars! I love seeing my children grow and excel, learn new things and come into their own. it's just too bitter sweet at times.
Emily was a happy girl when I picked her up! She acted very shy and was extremely quiet while I was signing her out and talking with her teacher about her day. Once we got in the van though it was a WHOLE different story! She talked all about her day in the most dramatic voice and body language she has. It was quite entertaining! I had a hard time not looking at her through the rear view mirror and focusing on driving it was so funny! So that's it. My baby is in her last year of Pre-School and I feel as though I'm just about to the top of the roller coaster ride. Ya know the point where you're thinking "Oh my GOSH" this is about to go SO fast down and then up hills, around sharp corners, around milder ones while you catch your breath just in time to take it away again with another drop with more twists and turns. Some of it you will laugh, some will make you scream. Some of the ride you'll feel like you're going to make it to the end alive and other parts you're sure this is it for you!" But no matter how scared or anxious you are in that moment you know that at the end of the ride you'll get off and say "That was SO FUN I can't wait to do it again!". There will be some around you that are thinking "Are you insane?! Did we just ride the same ride?-NO WAY". LOL
I figure that's what the next 15 plus years will feel like. Lots of emotions, lots of calm and chaos. Moments when we'll smile and laugh, some when we'll be scared and worried. No matter how many twists our ride has in store for us I will thank heaven everyday that we are on the ride together and try to find and focus on all the fun and happy parts. Can I just find a brake to make it not go by so fast?!