Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Today was Olivia's first day of preschool.

We woke up early, got dressed, took a couple of photos and dashed out the door. No time for breakfast. (Terrible, I know...but she won't eat first thing in the morning anyway...) She gets a snack mid-morning --she should be fine...

Olivia was excited! Mommy was nervous.

All the other children are "old pros" at this because school started two weeks ago. We only learned of this opportunity last Olivia got a late start.

How would she do?

Would she make new friends?

Would she listen to her teachers, Miss Lydia and Mrs. Forbes?

I walked into the Kids of the Kingdom Preschool held at the Presbyterian Church in town. All the other children were arriving --many dressed in their finest because today is school picture day.

We hung her jacket on the hook, and then Miss Lydia takes Olivia's hand and leads her into one of the playrooms where she will place her backpack and commence playing for the first 30 minutes.

Olivia marches right off with Miss Lydia while I stand there with this empty, gnawing feeling in the the pit of my stomach, realizing that my baby girl is growing up and is no longer a baby. For the first time in her life, I'm not going to be privy to everything Olivia does. I'm not going to be able to see how she conducts herself; if she plays 'fair' if the class bully pushes her on the ground, if she eats her snack, if she cooperates with her teachers, if she pays attention during story time, if she recites her Bible verse, if the other kids like her.

I walked out the door of the church and did what I vowed I wasn't going to do - I started to get all choked up and teary eyed. (Those who know me and are reading this are saying, "surprise...surprise!...Deb's getting all emotional!)

After I collected myself, I began my list of errands --to the post office to mail an eBay package, to the bank to deposit a check, to the mission thrift shop to see what kind of great bargains I can find, to the library to return some books....and the best part was I had my camera with me. I took some time in between all those stops to get some great "art" photographs of our town.

The thrift shop was having an "everything you can fit in a bag is two bucks" sale. Yeah! I kept checking my watch every five minutes...oh no, no time to go to the to go get Olivia.

I drove back to the church. No other parents were there. How odd. I sat there for a few minutes before I realized that preschool doesn't end at 11am but 11:30am...(duh)...okay - time for the library after all. I made one of the quickest "runs" through the library picking out several books for Olivia. Then I jumped back in the van and headed over to the church - again. Still no one in the parking lot....I sat there a few minutes and finally other parents began to show up.

We walked in and stood in the foyer area and waited for the kids to be allowed to leave --one at a time. I did take note that most of the other Moms were VERY young and most of the Grandmothers were closer to my age! I was feeling a tad old!

Finally, Olivia came bursting out of one of the rooms, backpack in hand. I gave her a hug and kiss, told her that I missed her and she said, "yeah, okay Mom, let's get going because I'm kinda hungry." When I opened the van door, there on her booster seat was a doll that I had managed to fit in my "everything I could fit in a bag for two bucks". Olivia was excited for about two seconds then said, "Mom, we really need to stop at McDonalds for a burger."

On the drive to McDonalds, I asked her about her morning...wanting to know every detail. It was like "pulling teeth" trying to get information out of her.

I’ve been asking her off and on all day....”Olivia, tell me about your day at preschool.” Her reply, “Mom, I just can’t really remember everything that I did and I really would just like to watch a video”, ...or “read a book”, ...or “have a snack”, ...or “work on an art project”.

A little later my Mom called to find out how Olivia did at her first day of preschool. As soon as Olivia discovered who I was talking to, she grabbed the phone and said, “Grandma! I have to tell you all about school!”...

Ugh. My baby is growing up.


dawnaj1958 said...

Great Blog Deb, I remember the same things but just recently went through it all again. I worried and stewed the whole first day of nursing school for Mindie. My baby at 27..Olivia will always be your baby. Those heart strings hurt when they're stretched. Hugs

Birmingham Girl said...

Does she have the sweetest face you ever saw or what!?!
Your now stepping into the next stage of mommyhood..the beginning of letting go. It starts now, but here's the never ends! You never totally unwrap those loving fingers that sweetly protect that child you would give your life for. It's ok though, I'm 59 and I still appreciate when my mom throws a blanket on me because she thinks I may be cold.
Sounds like you've done a wonderful job so far..I think she's going to do just fine!
Hey, did you get her that burger?
Us grandma's love when our grands get all excited to talk to us!

dawnaj1958 said...

Hey, don't you know it about the grandmother thing. Nathan's daycare mom has the kids call her grandma. He told her he has ONE GRANDMA. Me....way to go Nate Bug!! I love his I twisted or what?

Mrs. Mac said...

Ah, it's just the beginning of "mommy heartbreak syndrome" ... it never ever goes away (ever)! If you want a little one for life, adopt a baby with Down syndrome ... I gave birth to one that is ten years old... he IS always going to be my baby ... and I'm loving it!!

Olivia certainly looks ready for school ... so put together, but you better get her use to eating before she leaves. She a beauty!

Becky said...

been and still there w/my girl. i have a little cushy pillow though, my boys haven't gotten there...yet.

Margie said...

That is great! And just in time for picture day! how cool is that!!

Anonymous said...

i had a strawberry shortcake lunchbox! i totally need to get a backpack like hers.

Jada's Gigi said...

Yep, it gets harder and harder to get information out of them as they get older...:) she does look cute in the pic!

Char said...

What a sweetie. See how they grow...

Mrs. Mac said...

Oooooh. I remember when you posted this! What a fun re-read :)