The day that I was looking forward to with equal parts of anxiety and anticipation has finally dawned. The change that I had mentioned in my post Changes & Priorities is here. Today I sent little D for his first day of pre-school. Actually as I write this, he is still at school, and my mind is running around in circles as to what is going on there. So, since I can’t stop thinking about him, I thought I shall as well write about him.
This is the first time that he is away from me for such a long period of time, with the exception of staying with his grandparents for some hours last year, but that is different. He was home, and among the people he knew and loved. Today he is with unfamiliar people, in unfamiliar surroundings, and just thinking of that makes me really anxious. 🙁
I was looking forward to this milestone from a long time. I had anticipated the kid free time with much excitement, and had made big plans of what I would do in these 3 hours every day. But today I am just a bundle of nerves calling his school every 30 minutes. They assure me that he is doing fine, and actually enjoying his time with his new friends. But really, that is just the equivalent of a drop of cool water in a scorched desert.
While I was dropping him off today, I assured him that I will be back to pick him, and that he will be having loads of fun with his friends. I expected him to be slightly upset, and just a little anxious, but instead he was happy and looking forward to playing with his friends. This is what he told me – ‘Go. Do your work, Amma (mom). I will be fine. Don’t worry. I will play. You pick me. Okay?’ That should have reassured me, but instead I had a hard time controlling my tears, which I did, as the last thing I wanted to do was show him how anxious and upset I was.
I know sending him to preschool is the best thing for him and for me. He is so ready to make new friends, grow socially and emotionally, and get his first taste of independence. I know I am ready for this time we will spend apart as well. I can take care of my chores while he is in school. As a result of which I will be able to focus on him and have more patience with him when he is home. Because let’s face it, this three-nager phase can be adorable, fulfilling, and heart-warming, but it is also very VERY difficult, and a break is just what is required to maintain our sanity.
I am sure that this will get easier, as it is just school, not jail. 😛 But really, where is the time for logic and common sense when you are so focused on dealing with the gut-wrenching moment of letting go of your child. And…OKAY that may be overly dramatic, but you know what I mean. 🙂
This day also feels momentous as I know that this is just the first day of the next 18 plus years of his schooling. There is no going back to the precious uninterrupted time I had with my little one. Soon he will progress to kindergarten, and then full day schooling. Eventually there will be college, where he may even have to live away from us. But wait, let’s not go there, college is too far away, and today I am way too emotional to even think about things like that.
So as of now I will settle for soaking up this mommy moment that is making me overly sentimental for my baby, and yet so proud of this amazing little boy he is turning into. 😀
Did your kid start pre-school this year? Last year? A decade back? I feel like I kind of overacted to the whole situation, especially considering that D did not appear the least bit ruffled. I am curious to hear from you guys. Did you have an experience similar to mine? Did your little one show any signs of separation anxiety at all? Or was overjoyed to just get away like mine?
P.S. Sorry if this post is very sappy. I can’t help it. I sent my baby to preschool today. 🙁
P.P.S. I was meaning to hit the publish button on this post before I went to pick him up, but ran out of time. So I have a little update on the day. When I went to bring him home, he was reluctant to come. He said he was having ‘TOO MUCH FUN’ and that he will ‘COME HOME TOMORROW’. Hmmphh! So much for my anxiety and tears. 😐
*Linking this to WriteTribe’s #MondayMusings
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