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 Friday....so 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 library...got 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.