Well, yesterday we dropped Reagan off for her first day of preschool. I held it together. We posed for pictures, until she could no longer stand the excitement and demanded that we get in the car. Ashlynn, of course, made sure she carried her backpack too.
Then came time to get her situated in class and leave. And I could tell by the grip she had on my leg that we were in for a bad minute. I looked at Jon, my eyes conveying what I knew was coming. And as soon as I unwound her arms from my leg, the crying began. And I wanted to pick her up and carry her out of there. But I also knew with as much certainty that Miss Reagan is always fine within 5-10 minutes after I drop her off anywhere.
But Miss Mary, with whom we have history and LOVE, came up behind me. “I’m right here, Jenn. I’m right behind you and she’s going to be ok,” she assured me. And I knew it was time, like ripping off a bandaid. I left my third born crying hysterical tears and begging for me. Thankfully Miss Mary had Reagan in her arms and was already soothing her.
And then as luck would have it, the crying didn’t stop there. As soon as we pulled into the garage, Ashlynn started crying hysterically too. I could barely make out the words in-between sobs and hiccups. But eventually, as we laid down together for naptime, I finally understood. “Ima a big girl. I go school too. Ima a big girl!” And my heart broke into a million pieces. Ash finally fell asleep in a mass of sweaty tendrils, a tear and snot stained face, exhausted from her emotions. Sweet baby girl, Mama needs a little more time with you before sending you off into the world. This parenting thing is not for wimps…
When she woke, we made popcorn and read a few books. Before we knew it, it was time to pick up the kids from school. We pulled into the parking lot just in time to watch Reagan’s class walk in from recess. And wouldn’t you know it, Reagan was having the time of her life. Smiling and laughing with the other kids, not a tear in sight. Miss Mary assured me the tears lasted only a matter of minutes, as I knew they would.
Well, we did it. We survived (barely) the return of school. Dear Lord, PLEASE let it be a good year. Please.