I feel a little weird. For the first time in seven years I am no longer the mom of a preschooler. I’ve been looking forward to this day for months. This day meant no more preschool tuition and would soon have only one school drop-off, if only for one year. I was convinced I would not shed even one tear. I mean come on, this was my third kid. I’ve been through this two other times.
I walked into her classroom ready for the preschool graduation routine. We sat down in the preschool kid chairs ready to watch an end of the year performance.
With the rest of the parents and grandparents I politely clapped as the teachers led the kids in songs. Then the teachers introduced a video featuring our cute 4 and 5-year-old kids. I was ready for this too. When a teacher started passing around a box of tissues, I privately scoffed. As a hardened parent to two older daughters, there was no way this would pull at my heartstrings. Fast forward five seconds and the tears started flowing. The preschool director threw me a curve ball. In a stroke of genius, she guaranteed everyone would cry. She didn’t just show us our kids. She showed them as they’ve grown up in the preschool in the last three years. Was Carrie really that little when she started? Yes. Yes she was.
Gone are the sippy cups, pull-ups, pacifiers and ridiculously short bangs. You won’t see it in the picture, but also absent are tears, tantrums, and trepidation. Her first week at preschool was agonizing for her, me, and her teachers. She cried so much on the first day the director was on the verge of calling me to pick her up. This year, she barely gave me a second glance before running into her classroom. Her first year she hardly ever said a word. This year, she found her voice.
In hindsight, it was crazy of me to think I wouldn’t cry. How could I not? I wasn’t crying because I would no longer have a kid in preschool. The tears came out of seeing how much Carrie has grown in these last three years.
I have nothing but the utmost respect to the teachers who have nurtured and cared for my kids over the last seven years.
They’ve helped them shine, come out of their shells and prepare them for kindergarten. For that, I’m eternally grateful. While I won’t miss many things about being a preschool mom, I will miss the teachers who not only helped my kids grow, but me too.