We entered another chapter in the Story Of Us. A lot of which is documented right here in this very blog.
For the second time ever (like in her entire life), I left my child with someone who was not a) related to me or 2) considered closer than family.
Clover started Preschool.
I know in my mind that she should have probably started earlier than she did. She is super friendly so I knew she wouldn't have any problem making friends. I knew about all the positive benefits of Preschool. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It was a hurdle that I, myself had to get over. I couldn't keep her home forever at the expense of my fear.
I know I am very blessed to be able to stay home with her as long as I have. I am very lucky in the fact that I have family close and close friends that don't mind watching my darling Clover. These are people I trust and some of them have even been cleared by the DOJ (Department of Justice). I know that I don't have to worry about her.
Registering her for Kindergarten kind of halted any hesitation of starting her in Preschool. I knew eventually she was going to have her very own teacher and her very own classroom. Then I started panicking over her inexperience in a classroom. She takes dance which she loves but I stay and watch her so she knows that I am always there. So we went and took the tour. I asked my question and read my handbook. Clover went in and sat down in the classroom during our tour and said bye as if she were starting that day. At that point I knew I waited long enough and she was more than ready. But was I?
I watched my darling daughter sit down and feel comfortable in the classroom. She wasn't even registered yet. There she was interjecting herself into story time. I told her that we had to leave and she asked "Why?" I knew in my heart that she was more than ready. That she would love this and at some point I couldn't let myself stand in the way. So we registered that day.
Two days later she started. Hubby and I went to drop her off. I was very proud of myself. She hugged me and ran off and that was that. She didn't need me. As long as she told me that she loved me and gave me a hug and a kiss she was good. I on the other hand well, I had to leave my baby, my only baby, with a teacher I didn't know personally. I almost typed that in all caps because I was yelling it in my head at the time.
I couldn't stop from looking back. It was totally one of those "If I knew then, what I know now" kind of moments. All those times I reassured parents that left their children in my care. When I started in an infant room at one of our local daycares I was 22. I thought I knew everything. I knew these parents where trusting me with their offspring. I had plenty of moments where I tried to be sympathetic, telling myself that I could understand that. I understood that it was hard. But I didn't understand the magnitude of that feeling.
I get it now.
I'm amazed I didn't cry. Even just a little. I took all that trust that had been bestowed upon me and payed it forward.
Just to be clear I had already checked the Preschool out. It is a licensed facility where all of their employees have been fingerprinted and background checked. So this post isn't about the Preschool itself. It's more of me getting over myself.
That first day was a long day for me. So of course after she got out of class we went and got ice cream!